Tag: Infrastructure law requires alcohol detectors in new cars

NTSB Recommendation: Unreasonable Search and Seizure


Ostensibly as a result of a horrible fatal head-on car crash in California, the National Traffic Safety Board is recommending a new “feature” to be installed in all new cars.  That would be an “alcohol detector,” so every car would have the kind of ignition interlock system now required by some states for convicted drunk drivers. Every driver, in every vehicle, would essentially have to take some kind of test, either by touch or breath, to make sure he or she has not been drinking.  So, without your consent, the Government would essentially live in your car, collecting data on you every time you turn on the ignition.

I can think, off the top of my head, of dozens of reasons that this would be a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Starting with “guilty until proven innocent” by your having to prove that you are not drunk before having use of your own property (violates due process as well as search and seizure).  The government mandating installation of any monitoring equipment in your car could lead to their being able to disable it at will (if your car is an extension of your home, might this be modern-day “quartering of troops” in your home?).  Also, the article mentions that current systems require a monthly subscription fee, so not only would you not have control of your own vehicle, you’d have to pay for the privilege of not having control!