Man in car blowing into breathalyzer
St. Lucy's Priory High School

Opinion: Breathalyzers should not be mandated in all cars in California

A common phrase heard by teenagers when grounded or by people who are arrested is, “You do the crime, you do the time.”

Yet, what if you did not do the crime but still had to do the time?

A car breathalyzer is a device that estimates the blood alcohol content in a person; if no alcohol is detected on one’s breath, their car will start.

This month, California will be mandating breathalyzers in people’s cars who have received a DUI. Some organizations that campaign for safe driving are trying to place one in every car, no matter their driving history. This would be an invasion of privacy to people who have done nothing wrong, thereby breaking whatever trust the people have in the government.

It has been said that if this were to become a law and a state does not adopt the mandatory breathalyzer, the state could lose their highway fund. States would be bullied and pressured into accepting these tyrannically invasive procedures.

Some would argue that it could inevitably save someone’s life but people can always find a creative way around an obstacle. There will still be reckless drivers not wearing seatbelts or speeding on the streets whether they are sober or not.

The question we must ask ourselves is, to what extent does the “greater good” out way the natural-born rights of United States citizens? The rules and regulations already put in place are there to guide us to make the right choice, not to punish us if we have not done anything wrong in the first place.

Freedom is America’s number one belief and by forcing people to comply would rob them of their natural-born liberty.

–Taylor Rico-Pekerol


  • Reply unclesmrgol February 3, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    This is an excellent essay, and certainly shows that you understand the 4th Amendment’s guarantee of privacy. Of course, imagine doing this to a rental car (in which other, possibly diseased, people have used the same device) and you get a further idea of the wrongness of this.

    A few hints on grammar: It’s “outweigh”, not “out way”

    And freedom is not a belief. It is a natural right.


  • Reply Moe Berg February 7, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    This would be an “invasion of privacy…” What privacy? You’re on the road, in a machine capable of doing great harm. Mandatory seat belts were once considered an “invasion of privacy” too, but sensible people realize that the lives they save make them worth it.

    More to the point – the 4th Amendment has nothing to do with driving. There is no “right to drive” – it is a privilege, which can be revoked if you don’t follow the rules. It might not be necessary or wise to install an ignition interlock in every vehicle, but this is a matter of how legislators choose to regulate their drivers – natural-born rights have nothing to do with it.


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