What do you call an alcoholic Polish person? An “alcolock” !! Get it? (Polish people are sometimes called Polocks) Okay okay, that was a really lame joke. But anywho…an “alcolock” is a device which is installed in your car to prevent you from driving drunk. Before you’re able to turn on the ignition, you first must blow into this device. If you’re drunk, it won’t start up. And during your drive, it will randomly start beeping, requiring you to blow into it or else your horn will start sounding. And they’re coming to Finland…
Finland is to introduce Friday the first of the breath alcohol ignition interlock devices, or “alcolocks”, devices that require a repeat drink-driving offender to blow into a breath analyser to switch on a car’s ignition circuit.
In the trial, having an alcolock fitted is a voluntary option to an unconditional driving ban imposed on a drink driver. Further, those convicted of drink-driving would have to agree to an intoxicant addiction assessment programme as well as well as follow-up checks.
The costs, around 150 euros per month, are to be incurred by the driver.
They only cost $60/month in the states, I know about these a tad, my buddy used to have one. No surprise they’re twice as expensive here. With a high monthly fee like that, drivers will simply refuse the alcolock and just instead drive around with a suspended license.
And there’s already ways to beat these alcolocks very easily – simple and inexpensive devices (even home made devices) that simulate fresh air being blown into the nozzle are already on the market. Chronic drink-drivers won’t leave home without one of these babies.
In Sweden, though, it is proposed that all new cars will have to have an alcolock on board by 2012. Saab has already announced it could include an “alcokey” with its cars where drivers must blow into the key before starting the car. Lorries and buses will have the alcolocks before 2012.
Leave it to Sweden to lead the industrialized world in stripping away people’s liberties, and leave it to Finland to be right there behind them. Sweden will have alcolocks in all new cars by 2012? Okay so Finland will do it by 2015.
These alcolocks are too just too easy to beat, the chronic drink-drivers will all have their anti-alcolock devices, or they’ll just learn how to hack the automobile and disable the system. And I’m looking forward to the first alcolock-related accidents where the driver reaches down to blow into the device and smacks into another car head-on. It will happen.
Want to take a chunk out of a drunk-driving? How about deregulating taxis for starts. People avoid taxis because they cost an arm and a leg, or because there aren’t enough of them at peak hours. Deregulate the market, get more taxis out on the street and make them cheaper – more people will use them and will be less likely to drive drunk.