Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ethylotest Obligatoire

Everything you need for a night out in France
That FINO (Fascist In Name Only) John Roberts may have betrayed the cause of true Liberty and upheld the ACA's Individual Mandate, which will no doubt lead directly to compulsory broccoli, but even as the Right and their fellow travelers, the Stupid, indulge in a great wailing and rending of garments, they may take comfort in the fact that, as Socialist Hellholes™ go, the United States still trails Europe by a significant margin.  I call your attention to France, where a new law takes effect today requiring all motorists to have in their vehicle two Breathalyzer devices.  Adding insult to government overreach, the law also requires every car to contain a high visibility safety vest and a reflective triangle.

The police will be making random stops to check for the presence of these devices, and if a driver does not have the requisite gear, he or she is subject to an 11 Euro fine - albeit John Roberts would no doubt consider it a tax.  Although the law goes into effect today, the French government has included a four month grace period - no fines will actually be assessed until November.  But lest you think that's merely the act of a benign and compassionate form of government tyranny, think again.  There are only two manufacturers of the devices in France, and the result of the law is a severe shortage.  It's almost as if the government controlled the means of production through a policy of central planning, or something.

Now, setting aside for a moment the final, whimpering end of Liberté, égalité, fraternité for all time, one has to wonder about the practicality of this law.  You are required to have the two test kits in your possession, but there is nothing in the law requiring you to use them.  This strikes me as oddly self-defeating, as once you use one you'll have no choice but to go out the next day and buy another, making it more likely that they will remain unused for all time.  I also have to wonder about the expected thought process of the intoxicated driver.  Will he or she discover that they are slightly over the legal limit and think "whoa, better not drive home" or would they be more likely to go with "hey, that's not bad at all - I'll make it no sweat"?  Or if they find they are actually quite inebriated (as if the fact of their staggering drunkenness might have otherwise escaped them), they're very likely to sit for a moment, thinking about getting out of the car and trying to get a cab, whereupon the alcohol in their system will help them to make the inevitable decision: "Fuck that shit, man, I'm too fuckin' drunk to deal with a cab n shit, hell, I don't even have enough cash on me, and I SURE as hell ain't walking home".  Or however that universal sentiment would sound in French.  It just seems to me that a genuinely cautious person, concerned about driving after a couple cocktails with dinner, might very well make the decision to leave the car where it is and seek other transportation options even without knowing their exact blood alcohol level.

So one has to wonder: Suppose one lovely evening in Nice you are pulled over by a Gendarme who suspects you might have indulged in a little too much wine.  He demands to see your Breathalyzer kit.  Sure enough, you've got it - unused in a box on the floor.  Does he then demand you use your own kit to demonstrate to him that you are under the legal limit?  Wouldn't that be self incrimination?  Or does he completely disregard the presence of the device and continue as before?  And what if you DID use the device - does he demand to see your reading?  Wouldn't this open up a market for a smart entrepreneur, building Breathalyzers that read intentionally low?  It just seems that it's a well intentioned attempt to reduce drunk driving, but not terribly well thought out.

So just remember, when you chafe against having to buy the very health insurance that nobody will even sell you today, and the government is even giving you money to help you pay for it, there are places where the people are truly squirming under the jackbooted thumb (well, whatever, you know what I mean) of the nanny state gone amok, there is still hope that here in the US we might restore our freedom to be denied medical treatment by anyone who isn't certain they can extract a sufficient profit by providing that care...


  1. Not fully up on the Napoleonic Code, but I'm not sure the Froggos have a right not to self-incriminate.

    What they fucking need is a Breathalyzer in the ignition. No blow, no go.

    Extra nostalgic fun: A friend was once pulled over on suspicion of DUI (He had been drinking before driving.) & passed the field sobriety test.

  2. fuck off. Police State no more.

  3. Excuse me?

    Is this gentleman holding Moi responsible for French legislation?

    Now THAT'S cool...