Breathalyzers: Uh Oh.

The Unforeseen Dangers of a Device That Curbs Drunken Driving” (Published 2019, Updated 2021):

“Those checks, known in the industry as rolling retests, occur at random. They require the driver to lift a hand off the wheel, pick up the device and blow — hard — into its mouthpiece for several seconds.”

So we take someone who’s a demonstrably shitty driver and purposely distract them behind the wheel‽ o_O How could that turn out poorly?

But more importantly: is this solution the best approach? We love technological solutions to social problems, because then we get to avoid conflict (“It isn’t me, man; the machine says you must be punished.” 🤷‍♂️ )

“The legislatures themselves have made this instruments God.  Any time you put all your faith in technology, there’s a chance you’re gonna get burned.”

John Fusco, former president of the breath-test manufacturer National Patent

5 Reasons to Question Alcohol Breath Tests” (Published 2019)

Important to remember that cops aren’t scientists, and lawyers aren’t scientists, and judges aren’t scientists, and juries are rarely full of scientists.  Putting a “scientific tool” in their hands doesn’t make them scientists, and doesn’t guarantee precise, accurate, or “scientific” results. Even the best tool in fallible hands will fail (at least occasionally).