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New Mexico is nuts
Washington Times ^ | 2/20/04

Posted on 02/19/2004 10:04:13 PM PST by kattracks

Edited on 07/12/2004 4:13:28 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

On Monday, the New Mexico House of Representatives approved legislation to mandate ignition locks on all cars in the state. The devices which motorists would have to blow into before starting their cars every time they get behind the wheel are supposed to detect alcohol and prevent an engine from being started if any is present. A supportive Senate debated the legislation this week, and Gov. Bill Richardson has promised to sign it into law. This is an example of the nanny state at its worst.


(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; US: New Mexico
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1 posted on 02/19/2004 10:04:13 PM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
Too easy to beat. Keep a beachball in the back seat; use the air from it to unlock the igintion. Can't afford a beachball; get a big balloon & a clothes pin{it will need to be checked before entering the bar}.

"Adapter Kits" for bicycle pumps will be available almost immediately. The price will be $19.95 plus S&H {pump is extra}.

Breath-a-lizers work ONLY because they are used in Public & with a cop watching.
2 posted on 02/19/2004 10:16:44 PM PST by PizzaDriver (an heinleinian/libertarian)
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To: kattracks
As a non-drinker with permanent spinal injuries from a drunk driver, I am very torn over this invasion of privacy. I would support a breathalyser in the cars of everyone stopped while drunk driving, for the rest of their lives. That includes every car in the family/home and all rental cars.
3 posted on 02/19/2004 10:20:12 PM PST by IncredibleHulk (For some, it is better to rule in Hell, than to serve in Heaven.)
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To: kattracks
Nuts? Us New Mexicans? Really?
4 posted on 02/19/2004 10:20:46 PM PST by woofie ( If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: kattracks
If this is true, its completely outrageous. This is a particularly abhorrent example of ignorant politicians voting something into law because it sounds good. I predict either a complete abolishment of this law, or a mass exodus, which will in turn deal a crippling blow to the liquor market in the state.
6 posted on 02/19/2004 10:26:01 PM PST by freebacon
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To: PizzaDriver
Turkey baster?

7 posted on 02/19/2004 10:28:40 PM PST by Chris Talk (What Earth now is, Mars once was. What Mars now is, Earth will become.)
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To: kattracks
Most Americans would gladly LEAVE a State over this; I know I would! But no doubt it will be coming Federally soon enough; any dumb idea will quickly go Federal.
8 posted on 02/19/2004 10:30:09 PM PST by Chris Talk (What Earth now is, Mars once was. What Mars now is, Earth will become.)
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To: IncredibleHulk
Maybe... if someone had actually been convicted for the crime of DUI. I have heard stories of people convicted of DUI's 3 and 4 times AFTER THEY HAD THEIR LICENSES TAKEN AWAY.....and they are still driving.

9 posted on 02/19/2004 10:33:11 PM PST by bornintexas
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To: kattracks
My county--San Juan county--has one of, possibly the--highest DWI rates in the country.

I think all of us are frustrated with the problem.

I don't know what I think of this effort. But something serious needs to be done.
10 posted on 02/19/2004 10:36:06 PM PST by Quix (Choose this day whom U will serve: Shrillery & demonic goons or The King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
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To: kattracks
Is this legislature controlled by the Dems or the Pubbies?
11 posted on 02/19/2004 10:39:24 PM PST by the_Watchman
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To: bornintexas
the real problem with all this, though, is that it is racist. you see, hispanics comprise a, uh, how-shall-i-put-this?, er, disproportionate number of drunk drivers.

something cultural, or like that ... there was an article appertaining thereto about a week or ten days ago right here folks.

factoid two: new MEXICO. need i say more?

anyway, don't worry. when some even halfway intelligent lawyer points out that this law will, in effect, cause the number of passengers in hispanic vehicles to double from 15 to 30 (because the other drivers are too drunk), etc., blah, blah, blah.

yes, i am an idiot.

or, am i?

13 posted on 02/19/2004 10:40:22 PM PST by johnboy
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To: kattracks
Just finished writing a column on this topic...

One for the Road

Over there in New Mexico -- and what the heck was wrong with the old one, anyway? -- the government has been wrestling with the notion of requiring motorists in the "Land of Enchantment" to breathe into a tubular device before they can start their engines.

You read that correctly. The rationale for this notion is, of course, to prevent goofy drunken people from operating their sedans right into that VISIT THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT billboard over there. In other words, it's another feel-good piece of legislation making a pretty decent effort to disguise its real function, which -- given my view that somebody's got to be making money on any piece of legislation or it's never even coming up for a committee vote -- is to ramp up business for the burgeoning "personal breathalyzer" industry.

Use of such a device is essentially what the New Mexico iniative demands. Here's the skinny: You'd leave Billy's Buds 'N' Suds, hop into the vehicle, huff into an "ignition interlock device", and then the car would essentially interlock itself down until you could whistle a little something under the limit, or, I guess, until you could flag down someone strolling down the street to see if they might kindly blow into your "ignition interlock device" for you.

That, by the way, is not a good move in a tough neighborhood.

There seems at first blush to be other pretty simple ways of getting around the mandated equipment. Canned air -- that old favorite of us computer users -- springs immediately to mind, and might indeed spawn a new American catchphrase: "I'm canned, hand me the air."

This is not a bill which would "grandfather" anyone in, either. And you know how much hooch grandfather likes to put away. Nope, this thing is applicable both to new cars and to that thing you've been driving lately. It goes a little something like this:

"A. No later than January 1, 2008, every new motor vehicle sold or offered for sale in New Mexico shall be equipped with an ignition interlock device.

"B. No later than January 1, 2009, every used motor vehicle sold or offered for sale in New Mexico shall be equipped with an ignition interlock device."

Pretty straightforward -- which evidently doesn't describe the driving pattern of your average New Mexican.

Setting aside the fact that the "ignition interlock device" doesn't do much to protect motorists from, for example, crack addicts or addled 90-year-old drivers who keep getting a pass from the DMV despite their inability to read a stop sign at three feet without sporting an optical device from Edmund Scientific, one has to wonder about the practicality of this gizmo.

I mean, what if, for example, you are enjoying a sprightly merlot in Alamogordo and not drunk but simply feeling a touch giddy, when all of a sudden Al Qaeda ruins your whole evening by setting off a little "dirty nuke" in a strip mall a couple of miles away? You evacuate immediately and then decide it might be a good idea to get the heck out of the house, too.

But you cannot. Because "Ronco's Mr. Breathalyzer" will not allow it. So there you sit, unable to move and equally unable to find someone to breathe in your tube for you because everybody's pretty much already hightailed it out of there.

Similarly, what if you've recently enjoyed a couple of belts of Nyquil? Will that shut down the Sentra? How about the effect of ingestion of Aunt Millicent's fruitcake, which as part of the recipe calls for two bottles of Christian Brothers brandy -- one for the cake and one for Aunt Millicent?

And --- and this is darned important -- will the thing work, anyway? This bill seems to presuppose that the "ignition interlock device" will never malfunction like every single other part of every car ever produced. There is little doubt in my mind that repair shops will be besieged with work from thousands of motorists whose vehicles have somehow mistaken them for Diana Ross.

There are also, most certainly, constitutional issues involved here. Does the presumption of innocence stop at the dashboard? Should one be compelled to wheeze into anything without competent legal advice? Maybe that's the dark secret behind this whole thing: the Bar Association (appropriate moniker here, I'm thinking) wants a lawyer in every passenger seat in America.

You know, and I know, that this just isn't going to work. Fans of drinking and driving will find a way around the "ignition interlock device" faster than a Britney Spears nuptial, while, in parking lots across America, law-abiding men and women will sit staring glumly at their steering wheels until their motor vehicle decides they've sobered up from all that communion wine.

This proposal is just the latest instance in the never-ending Legislative March of the Nannies, and until society calls a decisive halt to this Prude Parade -- or there is no longer any money to be made by marching in it -- its troops will continue tromping unabated across the republic until everything we say, eat, smoke, guzzle, read, wear, drive, write, sing, and most importantly believe is fully regulated "for our own good."

New Mexico needs to toss back a good stiff drink or two and give this one a little more thought. Otherwise -- the way nutball legislation spreads throughout the states these days -- make a little room in the driveway for the 2004 Chevrolet Tyrant.
14 posted on 02/19/2004 10:41:54 PM PST by JennysCool
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To: kattracks
So amend the legislation to require that the locks contain components manufactured in every county in New Mexico. That will keep it from ever being enacted.
15 posted on 02/19/2004 10:46:17 PM PST by Thud
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To: Constructionist
Politicians get elected and they don't feel like they're doing their job if their not passing, writing, or researching potential laws. Part of this problem is the idea that people will say they aren't doing their job if they don't and they won't get reelected. I say reverse the trend, I say you could prove you're doing your job by erasing ineffective or intrusive ones already in the books.
16 posted on 02/19/2004 10:46:20 PM PST by freebacon
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To: kattracks
for the state to levy against the majority of New Mexicans who are not guilty of any crime.

Uh --- you're talking about New Mexicans --- it's not certain the majority aren't drunk drivers.

17 posted on 02/19/2004 10:51:07 PM PST by FITZ
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To: kattracks
This device will void the car manufacturer's warranty.

Car dealerships in the next state will offer free bus rides to the showroom to buy a car in their state. NM dealerships will all go out of business. The correct solution would be to raise the level back to a realistic level of .12...or offer more public transportation; but then that would be intelligent.

Politicians should be required a breathalyzer reading before they have any discussions concerning new laws.

18 posted on 02/19/2004 10:59:14 PM PST by T. Jefferson
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To: PizzaDriver
"Breath-a-lizers work ONLY because they are used in Public & with a cop watching."

That's what telescreens are for.
19 posted on 02/19/2004 11:13:54 PM PST by lonewacko_dot_com (http://lonewacko.com/blog)
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To: FITZ
He was stating that the majority aren't criminals.
20 posted on 02/19/2004 11:21:36 PM PST by freebacon
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