I heard a rumor about a smartphone application, or “app,” for short, that lets you know when/if you are “drunk” – The following is what I wrote back, but apparently I cannot post it to Facebook because it is too long. Just writing a reply is not allowed, because it’s too long. Hopefully, it’s WordPress.com to the Rescue! We’ll see. 🙂
an App? What phone has the necessary HARDWARE to determine THAT? It’s entirely possible, but I’m not aware of any phone you can find at any retail store that has such hardware added on. You can’t just add a program to tell you if you’re “drunk” unless it’s a joke – So that leaves me with these thoughts:
1. it’s a JOKE app. Like many joke apps people know about… one example is the fingerprint reader touchscreen app… it does not have the sufficient HARDWARE to READ a fingerprint, but it’s a neat trick app for people to ‘show off’ to their friends when they ARE drunk – because the trick is you tap it or this or that, and it has nothing to do with fingerprints. Maybe THAT IS the app that detects when you are drunk – whenever you are using that app! LOL. For real.
2. Define “drunk”!!! Legally? We generally think of that word strictly: Drunk means ALCOHOL INTOXICATION. But IF you change the definition to IMPAIRED or INTOXICATED – I would actually go with FUNCTIONALLY IMPAIRED, given the available hardware on most smartphones, as opposed to what I use myself, which is an actual police-rated breathalyzer that cost me quite a penny, so I KNOW and do not GUESS how much alcohol is still remaining in my circulatory system (and hence, crossing the BBB to my CNS, as well as the ~20% blowoff of alcohol itself by the lungs-not indicative whatsoever of CNS intoxication or impairment, because though there are LEGAL standards, the truth is, there ARE people who can be carrying THREE TIMES the BAC of the next person, and yet function at an equal or even greater level of performance of all the FUNCTIONAL tests. Problem: Functional tests or performance tests consist of arbitrary, made-up NONSENSE like backwards alphabet (Cyrillic? I think that’s RACIST)… Walking toe-to-toe (ADA violation)… Standing on one leg (what is this, boot camp???? Who the hell stands on one leg and touches their nose? It’s all total crap.)
A REAL or VALID functional test would be to put that person into an AUTHORIZED and INDUSTRY CERTIFIED (read: EXPENSIVE!!!$$) “driving simulator” and have the DUI/DWI “suspect” get into the cop car, or if it’s not part of the cop car, then just like they can pull out K-9 units like it’s nothing, they can either request a voluntary accommodation to the nearest police HQ with such a simulator, or call for a police vehicle that houses such a small and simple to employ simulator brought to the scene, and just RUN THE SUSPECT THROUGH A PROGRAM AND SEE HOW THEY SCORE.
I would also recommend that in addition to the standard tests that are required to obtain a driver’s license – which DO NOT INCLUDE RECITING THE ENGLISH ALPHABET BACKWARDS when you are nervous or anxious (a very REAL factor in performance, especially for those with performance anxiety, test anxiety, etc.) – NEW WORLD ORDER stuff I’m talking here, for REAL… Order out of Chaos… – And DO NOT include standing on one leg, or walking “toe to toe” (who even knows what that even MEANS, honestly, unless you’re a cop, or ballet dancer?)
1. The same ‘field sobriety tests’ that police use should 1.a. be STANDARDIZED and
2. EVERY “field sobriety test” method that is employed should be MANDATORY when you get your driver’s license for the first time, and ALSO whenever you must renew it – say, every ten years – OR whenever a new field sobriety test tactic/method that holds up in any court of law is introduced – WHICHEVER COMES FIRST – then ALL drivers should be given a letter in the mail, saying, “Dear Fellow American Citizen: We, your government, who you ought to respect, since we work as voluntary public SERVANTS, and we, who are governed by YOU, a member of the United States Citizenry, “the people”, have recently added a new “field sobriety test” method that we have tested extensively and strongly believe that this new method produces consistently more reliable results with regard to one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. (Perhaps they could also insert a note mentioning that they are or have done away with this or that RIDICULOUS method, such as asking someone to do something they have NEVER even PONDERED let alone DONE in all of their entire lives… such as fire off your ABC’s backwards, like ZYX’s… (you could cite reasons such as what I just mentioned, in addition to, say, the fact that habitual and intentional drunk drivers can take counteractive deceptive countermeasures such as memorizing the alphabet BACKWARDS…. LOL!!!) – all to improve the statistics and reduce vehicle collisions and resulting severe injuries and deaths, and pain, and a lot of money (healthcare).
This would lead to a more UNITED feeling – that the government is nothing but ordinary folks with jobs that just happen to be funded by your tax dollars, and are essential services that actively and proactively protect, serve, and assist its citizens. The way our system is set up now is such that EVERY attorney says “ADMIT NOTHING” “SAY NOTHING” “ADMIT NO FAULT”… It even says it on your CAR INSURANCE CARD. CALL POLICE, BUT DO NOT ADMIT FAULT. Every accident I have ever been in – the other party – who was at fault, of course – was nearly CRYING with apologies for wrecking my car. And it is usually TEENAGE DRIVERS or SENIOR CITIZEN DRIVERS who have blown stop signs nearly killing me, and wrecking my vehicles. (Thanks!)
Anyway, especially with this new slant toward marijuana – be it medical or not – and regardless, even prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sleep deprivation, exhaustion, eye problems (say, if you get your glasses broken in a bar fight, but you’re not drunk – you can’t SEE, especially at NIGHT…) – I STRONGLY believe that we need to move AWAY from a “drug measurement system” —> to a brand-new PERFORMANCE-BASED INDICATION SYSTEM.
I understand that it is a lot easier to suggest it than to deploy it. A LOT easier. It is/would be EXTREMELY COMPLEX and CONTROVERSIAL to actually implement into the real world.
However, there ARE technologies IN DEPLOYMENT RIGHT NOW – in 2014-year model vehicles in the upper-class brands and models – and cell phones as well, to match – that DO IN FACT HAVE THE ABILITY TO RATHER QUICKLY DETERMINE ONE’S ABILITY TO PERFORM AT A LEVEL OF FUNCTIONING THAT IS NECESSARY TO AFFORD SAFE PILOTING OF A VEHICLE.
Drunk driving, “high driving” and so on are not INTENTIONAL acts, but the OUTCOME of ENGAGING in such acts certainly CAN rival many INTENTIONAL, REAL, SERIOUS ACTS OF TERRORISM.
And that IS TERRIFYING!
Performance-based testing may even come along AFTER self-driving cars across the nation. The entire world is changing rapidly now, and in California, anyone can buy a new car that does not require a driver to be present, awake, sober, or anything else. No driver at all, in fact. Wonder what laws will come into play when people use this driverless feature to have their car simply continue circling the block when you can’t find a parking spot.
At that, I digress. My point is, while auto-pilot cars are not only REAL, RIGHT NOW, and LEGALLY LICENSED AS PASSENGER VEHICLES in California, anyway – we still have quite a few years before this becomes mainstream. We want HUMAN operators, for OBVIOUS reasons – one of which is BIAS, of course (ego) LOL :)… But everyone who knows how difficult it is to write a program within a framework and potentially unknown road conditions and fenced-off areas, say, by a nearly invisible cable – or a crime scene with yellow police tape and maybe some traffic cones – we will need to rework our entire infrastructure’s rules of operation and upgrade our roads. I just don’t see that happening EVERYWHERE in the US anytime soon. I deem it to be in very early beta-testing phase, and that’s putting it nicely. Just think of the legal MESS involved… litigation, insurance, at-fault… Can you say, NIGHTMARE????
So, as we have learned from the Leyritz case… the baseball player, I believe, who had to ‘blow’ into a device installed in his vehicle (running an alcohol breath test) that would deny ignition of the vehicle’s motor if any alcohol at all, or alcohol above a certain threshold of estimated BAC… is detected…. these systems are expensive, require maintenance and calibration and changing of parts, they are subject to “false positives” – hot sauce, and so on; whatever – the point is, they fail – They also can be overridden easily by simply driving a car that is not equipped with such an alcohol-read based ignition lockout device. (The device also takes a read that can have very serious consequences, even if it’s a failure of the device, for people who are on probation – many of them, like a GPS anklet, automatically report to the authorities that Person X (actually, in fact, Person X… literally… because it does not distinguish between drivers. This I know because there are so many stories of people at bars at closing time who ask a stranger or a buddy to blow into the thing for them to get the thing started. That particular issue has been identified and is being addressed, and of course it is illegal to “fool the system” like that – much like an 18 year old using his ID to buy cigarettes and sell or give them to “minors” – such as his or her friends, who perhaps have been smoking since they were 13.
Sorry for going off topic yet again. All I really wanted to say is that instead of blood tests and urine tests and breath tests and anal probes and flashlights in your eyes (bloodshot eyes can mean many things, not just intoxication – it could mean exhaustion, or many other ailments)… we should, to recap, 1. Begin drawing out a plan that includes FUNCTIONAL ‘sobriety tests’ INTO the same test teenagers take when they first get their license (why? because: If you can’t pass the standardized test that, if failed, can land you in jail and ruin your life – when you are SOBER – well, that’s just plain not fair. Additionally, the statistics would allow law enforcement and the supporting communities and industry to do a much better and more effective job of REDUCING PREVENTABLE PAIN, SUFFERING, AND DEATH (here, I am speaking of the results of a motor vehicle operator driving IMPAIRED… regardless of how many milligrams per deciliter of this that or the other, or some “%” called “BAC” or blood/alcohol concentration – which is ridiculous, because there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you can do gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (“GC/MS”) for every single automobile accident in the world, ESPECIALLY based on a police officer’s “say-so” that you were “swerving”. Swerving could mean you have a really bad car, needing some serious new parts or adjustments… It could mean you are drunk… It could mean you are just being silly, or it could mean you are testing out your suspension/front end/steering system after repairs, or it could mean the driver is under the influence of a drug that has not even yet been identified by the U.S. Pharmacopoeia!!! It could also mean the driver is suffering from some unknown medical ailment – heatstroke, diabetic coma, etc… These scenarios ALL DO HAPPEN, by the way.
So, why not save a TON of money by SPENDING 3/4 of a TON OF MONEY, and spend the next 5 years watching POLITICIANS hammer out some USEFUL LEGISLATURE and come to an agreement that, YES, a performance-based, realistically affordable, mass-produced (Look at radar guns – a great tool for police to spend tax money on, that is used to generate emergency revenue in times of need, AND IN TIMES OF NO NEED – such as, “there is no crime today, but we are unionized government employees on contract, so we must do SOMETHING.. what better than to hang out parked in some oddball spot A.K.A. a SPEED TRAP where the LOCALS KNOW it’s a speed trap – like where suddenly and for no apparent reason backed by logic, the speed limit drops, often without even a road sign visible to all drivers – for instance, if you are in the left lane passing a huge truck, or vice-versa, and you don’t see it… You know what I mean. There are thousands of classic examples of speed traps. Revenue “generating” justification “safety service” for us, because after all, we are all just stupid morons who couldn’t care less what the speed limit is – kind of like most police couldn’t care less what the speed limit is, since they know there is no way in hell anyone is going to pull them over and give them a ticket (though they have a “NEWS FLASH” coming to them… that’s all I will say about THAT!)
Conclusion – to wrap this up – get rid of INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE devices – many if not most are NOT EVEN MADE IN THE USA, seriously… and come back to common sense. AMERICA’s tech sector is PERFECTLY POSITIONED to address this issue, and as far as the details, well, I truly apologize; forgive me – but I choose to keep the “details” in the right hands – or brains.
“GOD is in the DETAILS”
July 23, 2013 @ 0335 Central US
🙂 tags = Driving while Impaired, or DWI, DUI, driving while Intoxicated, smartphone app tells if you’re drunk, is there really a smartphone app that tells if you’re drunk, iPhone Smartphone Drunk Detector App