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Cell Users As Bad As Drunk Drivers 738

Posted by Zonk
from the eyes-on-the-road dept.
An anonymous reader writes "News.com reports on a cell-phone use study which confirms that talking on your cell is as bad as being drunk, when it comes to driving skill. The researchers studied 40 volunteers in a driving simulator." From the article: "[The subjects were observed] while undistracted, using a handheld cell phone, using a hands-free cell phone and while intoxicated to a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol level--the average legal level of impairment in the United States--after drinking vodka and orange juice. Three study participants rear-ended the simulated car in front of them. All were talking on cell phones and none was drunk, the researchers said."
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Cell Users As Bad As Drunk Drivers

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  • The usual response (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:59PM (#15638317)
    "But I can put my phone down, I can't stop being drunk." Except that people don't put the phone down, they crash.
    • by Carnildo (712617) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:07PM (#15638427) Homepage Journal
      "But I can put my phone down, I can't stop being drunk." Except that people don't put the phone down, they crash.


      Exactly. I got rear-ended at two consecutive red lights once, by the same cell-phone-impaired driver. Fortunately, the only damage was a matched set of trailer-hitch prints in his front license plate.
      • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday June 30, 2006 @04:01PM (#15638935) Homepage
        I was reareneded 5 times by a guy in a BMW behind me on a hill at a light. I let out the clutch rolled back and nailed his hood with the Pintel hitch. This happened at every light up the hill. when the guy got around us to flag us down (we had no idea, big truck = cant feel anything.) and pull over the cop gave him the ticket for beign too close to us. we not only caved in the front of the hood but ripped the metal from the repeated impacts.

        There is a law that you must allow roll back room for the car in front of you, too bad most people are too stupid to understand those laws or learn to stay away from the truck in front of them after the first few times they get hit. (we rolled back 6 -12 inches.)

        He did not have a cellphone in his ear, just a lack of IQ.
        • by david.given (6740) <dg AT cowlark DOT com> on Friday June 30, 2006 @04:44PM (#15639322) Homepage Journal

          There is a law that you must allow roll back room for the car in front of you, too bad most people are too stupid to understand those laws or learn to stay away from the truck in front of them after the first few times they get hit. (we rolled back 6 -12 inches.)

          Uh... roll back room? I'm a bit confused; here in the UK, one of the standard driving test procedures is the hill start; if you roll back at all, you fail. (At least when I took it. They might have changed things.)

          Unless this is something to do with automatics, but you said you drive a truck, and they tend to use manual gearboxes...

          • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Friday June 30, 2006 @05:24PM (#15639641)
            I have a UK HGV licence, and you definitely would definitely fail your test (HGV or otherwise) if you roll back. I would imagine you would be charged with dangerous driving if you rolled back and hit a car with a truck here, even if no damage was caused.

            GP is correct you would not feel it if you hit a BMW- you could probably crush it flat and not feel it - hence the need to not roll back.

            This does not eliminate the need to stop suficciently far behind the vehicle in front that you can pull past it if the driver stalls (or runs out of fuel waiting at the lights - it happens!)

    • by merreborn (853723)
      "But I can put my phone down, I can't stop being drunk." Except that people don't put the phone down, they crash.

      Every time road conditions change even the slightest bit, I instantly say "Hold on" and chuck my phone on the passenger seat. That includes coming toward a hill, seeing brake lights on the highway... anything.

      I drove 30,000 miles last year without a single accident. However, two close calls were 100% the fault of jackasses on cellphones. One was doing 40 MPH bellow the speed of traffi
    • by vanyel (28049) * on Friday June 30, 2006 @06:29PM (#15640068) Journal
      If this scaremongering were true, accident rates would be skyrocketing along with cell phone use. The fact is, that while it may impair driving a little, it's not doing it enough to affect accident rates, so it's just one more bandwagon for people to get on without thinking. There are a lot of bad drivers out there; it's no surprise that more of them are talking on cell phones when they crash because more people are talking on cell phones, so they're more likely to be doing so when they do something stupid. And it's a rather visible activity, so it's easy for people to latch onto it. What's worse is that people seem to like to latch on to one or two instances, when if you actually watch, there are a lot of people talking and driving and doing just fine. The majority of them.

      I've been talking and driving for 30 accident free years, well over 10 of them with a cell phone. If someone can't talk and drive at the same time, they should be banned from driving, not banned from cell phone use.
      • by smoker2 (750216)
        Utter crap, and you got modded insightful ?

        Not crashing while using a phone != good driving while using a phone.

        There is enough to concentrate on while driving on crowded roads these days without taking 1 hand and half your brain away while you're doing it.

        And yes, I am a qualified, professional driver.

        The sooner all cars are fully automatic - ie. the driver has no control whatsoever - then the sooner the roads will be safe for the rest of us. You're only interested in talking on the phone, doing a bit of

  • by torrents (827493) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:59PM (#15638321) Homepage
    how about the idiots trying to use wireless email behind the wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:00PM (#15638342) Homepage
    Just like many people who have been drinking, the cell phone users did not believe themselves to be affected, the researchers found.

    Honestly officer ... I wasn't really talking on the phone ... I just hold it by my head to keep warm.
  • What about drunk dialing someone from your cell phone?
  • Old (Score:3, Informative)

    by cosmotron (900510) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:00PM (#15638345) Homepage Journal
    This was already on MythBusters...
  • by gasmonso (929871) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:01PM (#15638350) Homepage

    I would like to see a few more test groups added to this. How about the average pot smoking teenager, the girl putting makeup on, and my personal favorite that I saw recently... a woman brushing her teeth!

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
    • by forkazoo (138186) <(wrosecrans) (at) (gmail.com)> on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:09PM (#15638455) Homepage
      I would like to see a few more test groups added to this. How about the average pot smoking teenager, the girl putting makeup on, and my personal favorite that I saw recently... a woman brushing her teeth!


      Also, I want to see a study of how much reading while driving impairs your ability. I want to know how much more dangerous I make my drive home, so I can calculate if the probable time savings are likely worth it... :)
    • by fobbman (131816) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:16PM (#15638510) Homepage
      They can't find enough pot-smoking teens with the motivation to get off of the couch, let alone actually DRIVE somewhere.

  • by MImeKillEr (445828) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:01PM (#15638353) Homepage Journal
    What about drunk drivers who are also on their cellphones?

    Hmm..

  • What about (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:01PM (#15638355)
    What about just having a passenger to talk to? what about screaming kids in the back seat? What about trying to fish that CD out from behind the seat so you can change your music? How drunk does doing these things make you drive?
    • Re:What about (Score:4, Informative)

      by Greyfox (87712) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:43PM (#15638768) Homepage Journal
      I dunno about the screaming kids. Ideally you'd pull over and stop before belting them into quietude. Talking to a passenger does not offer the same level of distraction because they're there with you, can see road conditions and will STFU when things start to get hairy. If a passenger demands that you pay attention to them, they should be ejected from the vehicle. Stopping to do so is optional.

      Fiddling with the radio in any significant way really does make a noticable difference in how much attention I pay to traffic. If the radio's pissing me off and traffic's kind of bad I'll just reach out and turn the damn thing offf rather than try to locate a channel that doesn't suck.

  • Sure... .but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by warrior_s (881715) <kindle3@BLUEgmail.com minus berry> on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:02PM (#15638362) Homepage Journal
    talking on your cell is as bad as being drunk So lets propse another study... how bad is it when we talk to other people in the vehicle while driving? Is it same as talking on cellphone or not?
    • Re:Sure... .but (Score:5, Informative)

      by RapmasterT (787426) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:07PM (#15638430)
      according to accident statistics, talking to other people in the car is the #2 cause of driver distraction accidents. Second only to rubbernecking at stuff outside the car.

      cell phones barely make the list. According to anecdotal evidence, they're the #1 cause of "almost had an accident", but for real accidents they barely make the list.

    • Re:Sure... .but (Score:3, Informative)

      by Carnildo (712617)
      So lets propse another study... how bad is it when we talk to other people in the vehicle while driving? Is it same as talking on cellphone or not?


      The study's been done, and the answer is "no": the passenger usually has the sense to shut up in dangerous situations.
      • Re:Sure... .but (Score:3, Interesting)

        by LoveGoblin (972821)
        Not to mention that the sound quality's a hell of a lot better. You're not spending brain resources trying to make out what they're saying over a crappy cell connection.
    • Re:Sure... .but (Score:5, Insightful)

      by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:15PM (#15638501)
      how bad is it when we talk to other people in the vehicle while driving?

      It's a different thing entirely to converse with a passenger in the same car. There's a lower drain on your cognitive resources, the person next to you responds to the same environmental cues as you do, and will shut up and/or scream if you're heading for trouble.

      An alert passenger in your front passenger seat improves your ability to drive safely, even if you're deep in conversation. It's another set of eyes watching the road. A remote voice on the other end of a cellphone has the opposite effect.

  • heh (Score:3, Informative)

    by hamburger lady (218108) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:02PM (#15638363)
    not nearly as bad as this dude [cbs4.com] tho.
  • Hot Damn! (Score:5, Funny)

    by fobbman (131816) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:03PM (#15638380) Homepage
    You mean I might have a chance with the hot babe at the party whose sober but chatting on her cell phone?

  • its been done (Score:3, Informative)

    by pilgrim23 (716938) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:04PM (#15638385)
    Mythbusters all READY did the study, only they didn't get a grant to waste doing it...
  • hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aleksiel (678251)
    40 people? thats not that many.
    its just as likely that they got the really good drivers drunk and all the shiat drivers were handed cell phones.

    not that i doubt the conclusion, or anything. i hate cellphone-talking drivers. i'm just saying that 40 is kind of a small sample size for something being touted so much by the anti-cellphone-while-driving peoples.
    • Re:hmm (Score:4, Informative)

      by Carnildo (712617) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:12PM (#15638477) Homepage Journal
      40 people? thats not that many.
      its just as likely that they got the really good drivers drunk and all the shiat drivers were handed cell phones.

      not that i doubt the conclusion, or anything. i hate cellphone-talking drivers. i'm just saying that 40 is kind of a small sample size for something being touted so much by the anti-cellphone-while-driving peoples.


      If you look at the study methodology, it's quite large enough. They didn't divide it up into several smaller groups, they tested each participant under four different conditions: undistracted, talking on a hand-held phone, talking on a hands-free phone, and drunk.
  • I know a lot of states are passing harsher punishments. for people who were on a cell phone at the time of an accident or other traffic violation. As I understand it, in Illinois it's double the fine for traffic violations if the offender was talking on a cell phone at the time.

    Personally I think it should just be downright illegal. It's illegal to wear headphones while driving, and those are hands-free and only require that you listen. Why should it be legal to use a cell phone while driving? If the
  • by tont0r (868535) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:06PM (#15638415)
    Im not going to say that cell phones dont cause distractions while driving. But where is the line of concern drawn? I need to take my eyes of the road in order to change my CDs or the radio station. Or how about the nice people with stereo systems so loud it shakes the windows of your house. There is a small noise ordinance rule for that, but nothing major. Girls putting on make up, combing hair, getting ready, etc. Its unfair to just point out cell phone users and accidents. A line needs to be drawn somewhere if you are going to make that argument.
  • by eric76 (679787) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:06PM (#15638418)
    One night years ago when I lived south of Houston, I was driving over to a fast food place to get something to take home for supper.

    There was a van in front of me that was driving all over the road. It almost went into the ditch on each side of the road at least once.

    When we go to a four lane highway, the van spent part of the time taking up both lanes going our direction and some of the time in the oncoming lanes.

    I was surprised to see the van turn in ahead of me at the fast food joint and pull up to the drive through.

    Being the nice guy/asshole that I am, I thought I'd do a good deed and suggest that the driver wait for someone sober to drive him home. I stood about 5 feet from the window when I made my suggestion.

    It turned out to be a woman who had the foulest mouth of any woman I ever met. She was screaming unbelievably loud that she wasn't drunk, that she was only using her cell phone, and that how she drove was her business and noone elses.

    So I got back in my car.

    When I finally got around front, everyone inside was laughing. I guess everyone in the place, employee and customer alike, heard her tirade over the speaker system.

    I told a local cop about it later. He wasn't amused at all about it.
  • multi-taskers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Loconut1389 (455297) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:07PM (#15638429)
    some people are naturally adept multi-taskers- professional drivers (especially school bus drivers) are trained and in the regular practice of having extremely distracting activities going on and still being good drivers.

    Personally, whenever I've been on the phone (not too often, I avoid it if possible) and something has gone on, without even thinking about it, my mouth stops and I'm 100% tuned into the road, I don't even notice I was talking to someone until things settle down. I'm used to having a bus full of drunk adults (bachelor parties) and rowdy kids.

    I think they should test the subjects general multi-tasking ability and come up with a statistic that correlates multi-taskability (or inability) to accident+phone rates.
  • by Onan (25162) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:08PM (#15638431)
    According to TFA, they compared phone users to drivers who were at the legal blood-alcohol limit, not those above it. So they have, at most, demonstrated that driving while using a phone is more dangerous than other driving that we consider legal. Obviously there's some level of drunkenness that would be more impairing than phone use; finding out where that point is would be considerably more interesting than what this study actually did examine.

    I'd also love to hear more detail about the "hand-free" devices that they used for the test. Were these earpieces, or something more speakerphoneish? I seem to recall another study finding that the problem with driving while using a phone is not having your hands occupied, it's the mental isolation that happens as your brain divides resources between your conversational world and your driving world. And that earpieces did not change this, but that speakerphones _did_.

  • They keep changing the definition of legally [ncdd.com] intoxicated. [wikipedia.org]

    Dunno about the rest of you lot, but I could drink 3 beers and then go jogging. Maybe the reason why we keep seeing "cell phone use"=="intoxication" is because we've set the bar pretty low for the definition of drunk.

  • They must have seen me driving or trying to drive while dialing a number on my new UT Starcom 6700 device's soft phone. Honest to god, I know I am driving worse than a drunk guy, trying to fit my fat fingers into the soft keypad buttons on the touch screen to dial a conference call number while driving.
  • Not to mention the ever-present $soccermom in $suv with $num_kids scream and yelling in the back w/out the use of $turn_signals || $mirror while using the cell phone. Talk about a recipie for disaster!
  • by MyOtherUIDis3digits (926429) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:09PM (#15638445)
    you are really asking for trouble!

    "Yeah, babe, I've been thinking about you"
    "Noooo, I haven't been drinking! I'm close to your place, can I come over? I miss you..."


    Never ends well.
  • Handsfree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BigDuke6_swe (899458) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:10PM (#15638459) Homepage
    I think I've heard about a similar report where driving with and without handsfree was compared. The conclusion was that it's not the fact that your holding a phone thats the biggest issue. It's the fact that you're concentrating on something else than driving that causes reactions to take longer.
  • by Retired Replicant (668463) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:11PM (#15638464)
    I'm hoping they do a study of this next, so they will have scientific data to back up law against wives nagging their husbands while driving. On the other hand, I know I would make a lot more road trips if such a law existed, so it might not be good for traffic and the environment. :)
  • This will continue to be more and more true as they keep changing the definition of "drunk" to be closer to "sober". Next time MADD wins one of their new-prohibition battles, don't be surprised to find out that having a passenger in the car is as dangerous as driving "drunk".
  • If it's so bad then why haven't we seen major increases in traffic accident rates?
  • Obvious BS. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:20PM (#15638555)
    If three out of every 40 people who talked on cell phones were going to get in an accident, the highways would be a blood bath. A one in 14 chance of an accident? Come now. Nobody that spends a minute thinking about it is going to believe that.

    Of course if they do, then they have to also look at the fact that 0. That's right 0 drunk drivers had an accident in the study. That means that the study proves drunk driving is perfectly safe right?
    • Re:Obvious BS. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      If three out of every 40 people who talked on cell phones were going to get in an accident, the highways would be a blood bath. A one in 14 chance of an accident? Come now. Nobody that spends a minute thinking about it is going to believe that.

      you dont drive in metro detroit. 96 and 696 are pretty much that bad. I can tell you that I see regularly from 20-30 rearenders on the 30 mile stretch I travel every morning and evening. and every single one of them are multiple car 3-5 cars all smash each other.

      I
  • by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:20PM (#15638559)

    1. Find rich person driving expensive car talking on cellphone.

    2. Pull in front, slow down, encourage tailgating, then brake suddenly.

    3. ????

    4. Profit!

  • Flawed methodology (Score:4, Informative)

    by vanillaspice (612837) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:23PM (#15638577)
    So the researchers at the University of Utah determined that using your phone is worse than having a BAC of 0.08, the equivalent of one drink, not the equivalent of being drunk. How does the rubric stand up to two drinks? Four? As it is, the data don't suggest much. And don't be fooled by the "alcohol is involved in 40 percent of the 42,000 annual traffic fatalities" statistic, either. Most states derive that number from whenever any party, regardless of fault, has a BAC of 0.01 or more. In other words, you could eat a cherry cordial and a sober person could plow right through you and the state would consider your death an alcohol-related traffic fatality.
  • by 14erCleaner (745600) <FourteenerCleaner@yahoo.com> on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:23PM (#15638578) Homepage Journal
    I know everybody assumes that cell phone usage while driving is dangerous, and (for about the 10th time) there is a study showing that it's equivalent to driving drunk, but...

    US fatalities, per 100 million vehicle miles, have fallen steadily ever since cell phones started becoming common. According to this table [dot.gov], the rate has fallen from 1.73 in 1994 to 1.44 in 2004, and the rate either fell or stayed the same every year (despite economic variations, etc.).

    If cell phones are such a menace, why aren't more people dying in auto accidents?

    • That table does only looks at total fatal crashes. There is no data on the total number of automobile accidents. I suspect that more people aren't dying in automobile accidents because automobiles are safer overall. Cell phones started becoming more common in 1994, but so did SUVs. Those bigger vechicles are less likely to cause fatalities to their occupants (although not necessarily their victims).
  • by HappyDrgn (142428) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:30PM (#15638645) Homepage
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(season_2 )#Cell_Phones_vs._Drunk_Driving [wikipedia.org]

    Adam and Kari drove normally, then while talking on a cell phone and also while drunk. They had officers taking breathalyzer tests to get their BAC. In the show they determined that they where equally bad at driving using a cell phone as they where while drunk. Scores where done by a driving instructor in the car with them during all the tests.
  • by Lodragandraoidh (639696) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:46PM (#15638795) Journal
    The problem is not cell phone use in and of itself causing crashes. That is just a symptom of a bigger problem: people are not trained to use cell phones properly while driving and usually don't have the correct equipment to do so.

    When I was in the military I drove tracked vehicles while communicating on a radio net, and also talking on an internal intercom system with a TC and squad leader. Getting in an accident would have been far more catastrophic given the weight and size of the equipment I was operating.

    Similarly, Pilots also have to communicate while controlling an expensive piece of equipment - and I've also done that.

    In both cases I never had an accident. I can't imagine the military or aviation systems working without radio communications. Similarly the efficiency of using the Cell phone has provided amazing and equally important impacts to the civilian world.

    The number one key is to have the right equipment for 'hands free' operation. For cell phones this means buying and using the voice-dial features available on most phones now, and getting a headset for hands free operation in your vehicle.

    Secondly you must learn to modify your driving habits so that if the conversation moves to a point of needing to take your eyes off the road (e.g. to search for or record information), that you then pull off the road and carry on the conversation without impacting your driving ability. You should never manually dial a number into your phone while driving, and never attempt to write something down, or search for some item in your briefcase or purse, for that matter.

    Banning the use of Cellphones in cars is not the solution; proper training and equipment is the right answer.
    • The number one key is to have the right equipment for 'hands free' operation. For cell phones this means buying and using the voice-dial features available on most phones now, and getting a headset for hands free operation in your vehicle.

      Secondly you must learn to modify your driving habits so that if the conversation moves to a point of needing to take your eyes off the road (e.g. to search for or record information), that you then pull off the road and carry on the conversation without impacting your dri

  • by tsa (15680) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:47PM (#15638818) Homepage
    After driving through a red light once and another time wondering wether I had even been looking at the traffic lights, I decided to throw out my handsfree set. It's just too dangerous.
  • by DarkSarin (651985) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:59PM (#15638924) Homepage Journal
    At clemson there is a driving simulator. I don't know the results, but we've done the same studies with the same results. Guess what: Don't drive with your cell phone. Hands free is just as bad. Don't do it. It's stupid. I do it anyway (erm..that is, when I don't think my advisor, who runs the simulator, will find out), but I try not to, and if things get even slightly dicey on the road I hang up immediately, unlike some people.

    Don't do it, it isn't smart. It could cost you your life, and unlike driving drunk, where you tend to be unhurt due to being relaxed, you are actually more likely to be hurt.
  • by swschrad (312009) on Friday June 30, 2006 @04:45PM (#15639331) Homepage Journal
    "vodka and orange juice," indeed! that's the control group for using a ham radio in contact with borneo while driving.

    cell phone drivers' control group should be beer drinkers.

    I sorta got to prefer mai tais a year ago, I hate to think what study that would put me into ;)
  • by LionKimbro (200000) on Friday June 30, 2006 @04:45PM (#15639334) Homepage
    There was a successful AHS demonstration I believe in the 1930's, and most recently a successful demonstration in 1998. [nap.edu] (another report) [washington.edu]

    Congress thought the successful experiment was kind of neat, but shut it down, basically saying: "Nobody's really asking for this. People seem to be pretty excited about driving, actually." (paraphrasing.)

    Businesses have wanted AHS for a very long time- for many decades, they've been working on the technology, and trying to get it sorted out. (Think: highway trucking.)

    What's this have to do with Cell Phones?

    People are starting to value their time more. In particular, they're starting to view that car trip as useable time. Whether people really do have access to that time or not, people are taking that time, by force, with their cell phone. And the result is: crashes, accidents.

    So this may be a data point towards AHS.
  • The study really isn't conclusive. The test was done on a simulator, not in real driving conditions with real cars. The sample size was too small to be statistically significant. The blood alcohol level of 0.08% is the average legal limit in the U.S., but in actuality, not very drunk.

    They concluded that it didn't matter if you used a hands-free phone, or a hand-held phone, that it was simply the distraction that was causing the problems. As has been noted in this forum there are lots of other potential distractions: putting on make-up or shaving in the rear view mirror (I've seen both); fooling with the radio or CD player; looking at a map or reading your Google, MapQuest, Yahoo, Rand McNally, driving directions; talking to someone else in the car; turning around to see the status of your child in the back seat; looking at other stuff outside your vehicle; lots of other stuff.

    Before we go outlawing cell phone use while driving, some real studies should be done to see if we should outlaw our wives (or husbands) talking to us while we are driving, or to see if CD players should be outlawed, or ... you get the idea.

    Oh yeah, I'm sure that the conclusions of this study only apply to everyone else, but not *you*...

  • by marcybots (473417) on Friday June 30, 2006 @10:38PM (#15641128)
    I am a professional criminologist, and I can tell you that the decision to make 0.08 the legal limit was not determined by any scientific research, it was determined by politicians seeking reelection by seeing who could better protect the public from the dangers of crime. In the instance of drunken driving, they rely on unsound measures, such as lowering the blood alcohol levels to absurdly low points rather than actually since it is a test that is easy to administer and hard to contest in court rather than trying to actually determine whether a person is actually to drunk to drive a vehicle. 0.08 is usually not even two beers for the average person.
          Some people's bodies can withstand a very high blood alcohol level before anyone would guess they are drunk, while a single beer would cause others to passout. The idea that some breathalyzer test can determine drunkeness is more a convience than a fact.
  • by haaz (3346) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @12:12AM (#15641439) Homepage
    remember this? [slashdot.org]

    might be a bit before some current Slashdotters time...

    given how much more common people yapping on their cell phones appears even than drunk driving, I'd say we do have a problem here. I am not anxiously awaiting a teenager drilling into me because they were too busy on their cell phone to pay attention to the road. I fear what they may do when I'm on my bicycle. But that's part of the challenge, and the thrill when you survive it.

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