Ok, I am not an expert on this matter. And maybe reading my post is a waste of time as I am sure many other people have given more thought than I have to the issue of drunk driving. But governments around the world spend fortunes trying to find out if people are driving drunk by randomly stopping them and testing them. This leads to enormous amounts of lawsuits and all sorts of miseries. And while I think the intentions are excellent and drunk driving is the cause of an incredible amount of death maybe some of their efforts are misguided. What society should really want to know is not if a person is a dangerous driver. And the two are not exactly related. Take my case. I am a terrible drinker. I rarely drink. When I do is a glass of wine. The few times I have had 3 glasses of wine during dinner I got drunk, silly smiles, poor coordination and all. And wine is all I drink, no beer which I dislike, nor hard liquor that except when greatly diluted in fruit juice, I also dislike. Gin? Ron? Tequila? Vodka? Not for me. My body seems to have very little tolerance for alcohol. So what I am trying to say here is that while I could pass alcohol tests better than my friends as I drink much less, I know that my friends can drive much better than I can after drinking, say, 2 glasses of wine. I am very sensitive to alcohol. The point of drinking and driving is not to find out how much you drink but how well you can drive. If that is the case how about testing THAT. For example my neighborhood in Madrid is full of speed bumps. How about replacing those with serpentines that not only would slow you down but also be very hard to navigate when drunk? Or how about having cars make you do a simple coordination test in order to turn on? What we would like to know is not how much people drink but if their reflexes and ability to drive is still there. And this could be tested for all drivers in 30 seconds before they get going. In that sense the tests they used to do in the States when I live there made more sense. They did not test you for alcohol but made you walk tight rope style on the road dividing line. At least they were testing coordination and that relates more to driving than alcohol itself.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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