Is Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson considering random breathalyzer tests? According to MADD chief exec Andrew Murie, yes.
Is this another example of pandering to special interest groups or is Nicholson just blowing 0.08?
The Ceeb is reporting that random breathalyzer tests could become common place at check stops. Currently, police officers need reasonable grounds to test a driver, but with new legislation, people like Andrew Murie are hoping to throw out civil liberties against unlawful search out the window. Am I being ridiculous? I mean, why wouldn’t I want increased government intervention, solidification of automotive villainization, and erosion of civil liberties in the name of pandering to special interest groups. I have nothing against MADD itself because even a Devil’s advocate like myself can’t argue against people who have lost significant others to an impaired driver, but when special interest groups overstep their boundaries, they overstep their boundaries.
According to Murie, Australia and European countries have already enacted similar legislation with desirable results. I would contend that these “results” are corollary relationships at best and misleading at worst. If Murie would like to cite his references, I would be more than happy to read the publications to determine their validity. Without having read them though, any conclusions such a publication would make are correlations. So either A causes B, B causes A, or C causes the relationship between A and B. You cannot make a causal relationship from these kinds of studies and say that increasing breathalyzer tests decreases drunk driving fatalities. Maybe decreasing drunk driving fatalities causes an increase in breathalyzer tests because more officers are testing instead of attending to the scene of an accident. Or maybe cheaper alcohol prices increases dangerous driving, increased breathalyzer tests, and decreases drunk driving fatalities. Or maybe the police force hired more officers and more people took a taxi home because more cops were scouring the areas around bars for drunk people getting into their own cars. The list of possibilities goes on and on.
Here’s hoping that the tail won’t be wagging the dog next time I have one pint and drive home.