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Drunken Driver's Ed

Learn to do it safely.
  (+6, -18)(+6, -18)(+6, -18)
(+6, -18)
  [vote for,

Think about the reason we have licensing at all. Without proper instruction and practice, most people would be extremely dangerous while driving -- even moreso than most drunk drivers. Racecar drivers can drive 200 MPH fairly safely, while most people would be a hazard simply because they haven't learned how to do it.

With that in mind, it could just be a matter if inadequate training that causes drunk people to be such a danger on the road.

In driver's ed, you learn tricks for parallel parking, how to estimate how far you are from the person ahead of you, etc. The problem with drunk drivers is that the perspective has changed, and those tricks no longer work. If the actual effects of alcohol were studied scientifically, it should be possible to train people how to drive drunk safely. At least, as safely as most people (which isn't all that safe, but sober people don't get thrown in jail for every ignorant mistake they make, either).

As some examples... I was taught to give 2 seconds of space to the car ahead of me. This means I will be a progressively farther distance away from the other car as we drive faster. Giving 4-6 seconds might be a better buffer for people who are a little tipsy. And if you're seeing double, orient yourself to the rightmost (or leftmost, I haven't done the studies) centerline.

If someone is almost ready to pass out, this wouldn't work, but it should be possible to make safe drivers of those in the 0.08 to 0.15 range and free up resources to deal with real criminals.

DarkEnergy, Mar 18 2006

Drunk Driver's Test Inebriated_20drivin...dification_20factor
IMHO a better, but very similar idea. [hidden truths, Mar 19 2006]

Drunk Hours Drunk_20Hours
A variation on the theme [ColonelMuffins, Mar 20 2007]


       I figured people would vote this down as a matter of principle. It's still a good idea.
DarkEnergy, Mar 18 2006

       I have heard that it is not possible to hearn to drive drunk, but it is possible to learn to drive baked. I do not think pot affects reaction time and judgement in the same way as alcohol. It is hard to say exactly what it is that pot is affecting.   

       I will give this a bun because it might be a selling point to voluntarily get some drivers ed for some folks (it is more and more difficult to get any formal drivers ed). As [Dark] setsit out, it would just be exaggerated defensive driving, which would be good all around. They would likely wind up better drivers sober or drunk.
bungston, Mar 19 2006

       i see drunks fall down just from walking. if they cant learn to do that right, you definately can't drive ,,,,,sorry
kristoferburrito, Mar 19 2006

       [bungston], I'm almost certain that cannibus affects reaction time.
Zimmy, Mar 19 2006

       This idea is ill thought out (or half baked in the extremis). Firstly, different people get drunk at different rates - and will be in varying states depending on just what they've consumed that night and what mood they're in. It's certainly not as if I can say - "I've had 2 beers so I need to drive 2 x 5mph slower"   

       Then we have to take into account the notion that the control of your car is subject to the actions of others: pedestrians, other cars, traffic lights. So much of driving is observation; reaction and cause and effect. Alcohol ruins your reactions. You can't drive defensively enough to compensate.   

       Then we throw the fact that as your booze levels increase, your emotional state becomes more unpredictable - who's to say that drunks will obey signs, speed limits or even their bloody tuition!   

       Right then - we've now established that *drunk* people are too dangerous to be allowed to drive. But you then suggest that we consider this of 0.08 - 0.15. This presents us with the old problem of gauging how much people have had. Joe Schmoe won't know what his blood alcohol levels are, so will be relying on his judgement - which gets worse with drink. It's gonna be unworkable and invites people who feel 'alright' to drive.   

       4-5 seconds at 30mph is 176 - 220ft. The normal recommended stopping distance is about 75ft (the 2 second rule gives 88). That's in perfect dry conditions. It seems like a reasonably long distance - so much so you then ask yourself "How many people obey the safe breaking distances?", "How likely is it that they'll obey the driver's ed distances?"
Not very likely at all.

       How many people have got behind the wheel of a car thinking they're 'alright' only to end their journey in tragedy? Lets not give that scenario any encouragement.   

       I have to reckon that anyone that drives under the influence is disregarding their safety and all those around them. They *are* real criminals and should be dealt with.
Jinbish, Mar 19 2006

       All good and very predictable comments. As I briefly mentioned, the first thing would be scientific studies to learn how new driving techniques might be developed to offset the effects of low-moderate amounts of alcohol. If someone too drunk to walk, they obviously can't drive. I thought I addressed that already, too.   

       The sum of the studies I've seen to date conclude nothing more than, "Yes, alcohol impairs one's coordination [duh], so it would be dangerous to drive."   

       If the same researchers tested a group of people who have never driven a car, the data would lead to the conclusion, "Humans are unable to safely drive."   

       Somehow, the vast majority of people who drink and drive are able to do so without incident. Getting into accidents or getting caught are rare exceptions. What do they do differently from those who are the exception? Since it is clearly impossible to stop the occurrence of drunk driving, I don't see why people would balk at an idea which may provide safer roads than our current MO.   

       It is certainly plausible if not possible.
DarkEnergy, Mar 19 2006

       I'm not trying to dismiss your idea out of hand, but I can't see any amount of 'research' coming to a valid conclusion that can be applied to everybody.   

       Give me an example of how this scheme would work. Your example must include some kind of accident.
(edit: sorry that sounds a bit like a teacher, I don't mean to.)
Jinbish, Mar 19 2006

       I fail to see how this would be even remotely workable. As soon as someone who had taken this course was arrested for the inevitable accidents, the company offering it would become an accomplice.
hidden truths, Mar 19 2006

       Im sorry but this is just bad science and statistics and frankly downright ignorant.   

       Why not have training courses for cocaine, Meth, LSD and heroin users to, I mean after all they just need to learn how to be high safely right, I mean look at the stats, a great many drug addicts are succesful people and dont hurt or kill anybody.   

       Even better, russian roulette, only 1 in six people ever get hurt if we had a training course..... (-)
jhomrighaus, Mar 19 2006

       \\their ability to attach consequences to their actions is non-existent\\ Must ...resist ... American... reference.
hidden truths, Mar 20 2006

       Your idea is only taking into account the amount of buffer space a driver needs before and behind him. Inebriated drivers are also ineffective at maintaining their lanes. Should the lanes then also be made wider, to better accommodate their tendency to weave?   

       The safest drunk driver is, in fact, a passenger. No caveats, no exemptions, no qualifications.   

elhigh, Mar 20 2006

       Driving 200mph is easy. It's the stopping that's difficult.
phundug, Mar 20 2006

       I've been know to stand still for five minutes, not saying anything, and not moving while high. I'd say cannabis affects reaction time.
notmarkflynn, Mar 20 2006

       //That is the kind logic-defying argument of convenience that only a politician would employ without shame.   

       You can't make safe drivers of drunk drivers and the only people who could possibly see merit in this idea are habitual drunk drivers or people who are so dumb that their ability to attach consequences to their actions is non-existent.//   

       This is, in fact, a logic-defying argument known as ad hominem.
DarkEnergy, Mar 20 2006

       I concur. [Murdoch], your attack on the idea author instead of the idea is pointless invective.   

       (My above comment written prior to [Murdoch]'s redaction of the annotation in question when it was yet very much an attack on the idea author.)   

       What if people were trained to deal with the right thing to do if they find themselves impaired, starting with the ability to recognize that one is impaired?
bristolz, Mar 21 2006

       Since a lot of the driver's ed cars have controls on both sides, two half-cut people could drive together, balancing out mistakes.   

       Sarcasm Lock key off.   

Giblet, Mar 21 2006

       Very well put, [boysparks].
Jinbish, Mar 21 2006

       If you just stay in your lane, don't speed, don't follow too closely, don't run into anything, and turn your headlights on, then odds are that you won't get pulled over for being drunk. [+]   

       Being high on Marijuana though!? Well, your lucky if you can even remember running over somebody the next morning. Your lucky if you don't pass out and drive off the road. You're lucky if....   

       actually, you don't feel being punched in the arm when you're on that stuff until 15 seconds after you've been punched and then if feels like your arm is a million grains of tingling sand which then travels up you arm and into your brain where it then explodes into a sensation of pain. This is why if you jump into the air and then land back on your feet again, it feels like you're flying for an additional 15 seconds after you've already landed (this is the weightlessness that people often associate with being high) or if you do a 360 flip off the diving board you don't feel that until after you've splashed into the water.... I think this is why people become lazy when they are habitually using pot, because they don't like the effects of the delayed reactions or the paranoia that these unexpected reactions insight in the person (you're not always expecting to feel the aftershocks from an earthquake, so they're scary sometimes, while other times they're delightful because you are expecting them).
quantum_flux, Nov 17 2007


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