Friday, March 09, 2007

NJ to Drunks: Have a seat, we'll be with you in a bit

There has been a lot of chatter lately about the "mini Y2K" problem created by Congress's change in Daylight Savings time this year. It starts 3 weeks earlier (this Sunday morning) and will end a week later. Living in an age where computer software runs just about everything, some changes needed to be made in order to recognize this time shift. Microsoft had to send updates. Our Blackberries needed to be updated as well. ATMs? Sure. Credit card machines? Yup.

These simple everyday items aren't the only things that could be thrown off course. It seems that the new fancy version of the "Breathalyzer" machine used by 17 of New Jersey's 21 counties, called the Alcotest 7110, won't update itself until April 1, 2007 -- the date Daylight Savings would have started had it not been changed for this year.

So what's the solution to the problem? Make suspected drunk drivers wait an hour so the clock on the Alcotest will match the time of arrest.

Is the hour wait a good thing or a bad thing? Well, some say the additional time will allow some people to sober up just enough to get them off. Others think some people will absorb more alcohol and go from barely sober to over-the-line drunk.

Sounds like we need a software patch.

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