Today, while soberly driving (unintoxicated, not solemnly) my car home from Trader Joe’s (I trade them $60 for one bag of food) I listened to NPR (the LA equivalent of reading).
The chunk of air-time I tuned-in for was an exploration of the value of a measure being introduced in California to try and combat drunkard driving. The statistics are horrifying. If I remember them correctly, there are something like 1,500 deaths, 200,000 arrests and a gajillion accidents caused by shit-faced people failing to multi-task (be trashed and drive). And, on average, someone’s first DUI is really their 87th time DUIing. That’s just in California. So said measure would penalize the plastered by putting a breathalyzer in their cars that controls their starters. If they are schnockered, the car won’t start. And even if they have a sober person blow for them (highly illegal, fyi), good luck, cause there are random breath tests along the way.
What followed was a lot of back and forth, point-counterpoint debate as to the benefits and drawbacks of this plan. One guy called-in to say that this solution was too “Big Brother” and that we should just make capitol punishment the penalty for a DUI conviction. Hey, my high school had “random” breathalyzing after lunch, so this is not a new concept, but in what might be my Best Idea Yet, I have devised a brand new alternative.
Let’s face it, people in LA are always going to drink, the city of LA is always going to have no public transportation, so the roads at 2 am will always be spinning. As a Prius owner and lover of the good ol’ HOV lane, I would be willing to offer it up during the 10 o’clock Do You Know Where Your Children Are Hour, till four or five am, the brief window of no-rush-hour(s). During this time period the freeway’s carpool lane would become a designated Drunk Driving Lane (DDL).
If there’s money for breathalyzers, then why not just build some of those bowling alley style bumpers that could rise up, separate the lane, and let ‘em go crazy in there! And by crazy I mean go 20 mph, cause apparently that makes it okay to drive while sloshed. If they hit each other, serves them right. If they get home, tax them. Then, instead of having police and emergency response teams tied up with all their accident-making, a snow plow can go through and clear out the night’s debris in time for the morning slommute.