Posts Tagged ‘breathalyzer’

Is Anyone Surprised?

November 5, 2010

Is anyone surprised by the new research that found that adolescents who abused marijuana and alcohol scored lower on a battery of intellectual aptitude tests than their drug-free peers, HealthDay News reported Oct. 19?

University of New Mexico (UNM) investigators asked 48 teens aged 12 to 18 to undergo a battery of tests to assess the effects of chronic substance abuse on their intellectual function. The tests measured a range of neuropsychological skills, including verbal reasoning, executive function, visuospatial ability, memory, and processing speed. Nineteen of the participants had a diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence, 14 were abstinent but had a parent who abused alcohol, and 15 were abstinent controls with no family history of alcohol abuse.

The researchers found that teens reporting the highest substance use had lower test scores across the board. In particular, teens who abused alcohol scored substantially lower on the test measuring executive function, while teens who abused pot scored lower on measures of memory performance.

Interestingly, teens who were abstinent but had a parent who abused alcohol were also affected, scoring lower on the test for visuospatial ability.

This is one of the reasons the results should be interpreted with caution, noted Ramani Durvasula, PhD, associate professor of psychology at California State University in Los Angeles. According to Durvasula, the authors failed to take into account socioeconomic and educational factors that influence intellectual development or to assess for problems at home. “Kids who abuse drugs and alcohol are different from those who don’t,” she said. “Let’s face it, when kids are drinking 13 drinks a day (the study average), there’s not a lot of parental supervision going on.”

Robert Thoma, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry at UNM and lead author of the study, agrees the results raise a “chicken and egg problem.”

“Which came first,” said Thoma. “The low executive function, which could lead to drinking more, or the heavy drinking, which leads to poor executive function?” Large longitudinal studies are needed to definitively answer to that question, he concluded.

The study was published online Oct. 19 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Cherry Point Commander Relieved of Duty

November 1, 2010

Another, I can’t believe it . . .

Col. Denn a decorated officer who has risked his life thousands of times in order to protect the citizens of the of the United States and yet he choose to risk the lives of thousands by driving impaired.  We can continue to talk about the dangers of drunk driving and we can continue to education about the dangers of impaired driving, but until we actually put some teeth behind all our talk and education we will continue to bury and mourn the death of about 17,000 US citizens who die each year as a result of impaired driving which is 4x as many who died in each year of the Iraq war.


CAMP LEJEUNE — The commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, who was arrested and charged with drunk driving Monday night in Newport, was relieved of command Wednesday by the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations East.

Col. Douglas A. Denn, 47, was relieved by Maj Gen. Carl B. Jensen due to a “loss of confidence” in Col. Denn’s ability to command, according to a news release released by the major general.

The relief occurred as a result of an investigation into allegations of Col. Denn driving under the influence that eroded “good order and discipline,” according to the release. Col. Denn, who took command of the air station in August 2009, has been temporarily assigned to administrative duties at the air station.

Col Robert D. Clinton, executive officer, MCAS Cherry Point, has assumed command. A CH-46E helicopter pilot and graduate of the Naval War College, Col. Clinton has previously commanded Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 and served with U.S. Pacific Command, 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade. Prior to his assignment at MCAS Cherry Point, Col. Clinton was the Officer In Charge of the II MEF Forward Command.

Court records in Beaufort show Newport Police Officer Justin Ferrell stopped Col. Denn at 11 p.m. on Highway 70 in Newport for speeding. He was then charged with driving while impaired as a result of blowing 0.14 in a blood alcohol test (legal limit is 0.08), speeding 67 mph in a 55 mph zone and possession of an open container in the passenger area of the vehicle.

Prior to arriving at Cherry Point, Col. Denn served in command at various duty stations. They included Marine Aircraft Group 31 and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 in Beaufort, South Carolina.  Col. Denn, a jet pilot, has more than 3,500 flight hours and has received numerous decorations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service medal, Navy Commendation Medal with three gold stars and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

If Anyone Should Know Better, You Would Think the Coroner Would.

March 31, 2009

Today I read a news story about the coroner of Kosciusko County in Indiana being arrested for drunk driving. Can you believe it! If anyone should know firsthand the all too real and deadly consequences of impaired driving this guy should.

The news reported that the police called him to come and get his son’s vehicle because his 19 year old son had just been arrested for drunk driving, but when the coroner showed up to retrieve the son’s vehicle, the police suspected that he also had been drinking and so they had the coroner take a breathalyzer test and found that he was driving impaired as well.

If the coroner who, I would assume, has done at least one autopsy of a victim of drunk driving hasn’t gotten the clear and distinct message about the deadly consequences of driving under the influence, is there any hope that others will get the point, especially under age or teen drivers who are just starting out?

Grandmother Introduces Technology to Prevent Impaired Driving

February 18, 2009

An Ohio grandmother of two has introduced a technology in the fight against impaired driving. Elaine Futrell has patented a formula that uses complex computer algorithms to detect when a person is impaired from prescription, illegal, or over-the-counter drugs and/or alcohol by measuring the amount of time it takes that person to complete a sequence of tasks. Cleared2Drive instantly compares a person’s current data to their historical data and if the two sets don’t match, the system won’t permit the vehicle to be started. Futrell’s has spent the last several years perfecting the technology, including hiring outside companies to test the accuracy of her computer algorithms. They confirmed what scientists have known for years; when a person is impaired their reaction time is diminished.

Futrell states, “Initially I envisioned this technology being used after a DUI arrest, but from day one, we have received calls from individuals whose loved one is an addict. When we started receiving these calls almost daily, I knew we needed to make this technology available to everyone.”

According to Futrell, discretion plays a bigger role in a person’s decision to buy than price. “No one likes to be embarrassed when they need to start their vehicle, but unfortunately, that is what a breathalyzer does. With the Cleared2Drive System, passengers don’t even realize that anything out of the ordinary is being done. The driver only has to perform 6 simple tasks and they are on their way – usually in about 10 seconds. It’s just that simple.”

Even though the Cleared2Drive System appears very simple to use, it is highly effective in detecting impairment.
The Cleared2Drive System first requires the driver to identify themselves via their fingerprint then they must perform an assigned sequence of tasks. The system develops a distinctive algorithm for each individual based upon their normal reaction time in completing the sequence. Each time the driver is successful in starting their vehicle, the system’s patented technology analyzes the information and records it in each person’s data base. When a person either varies from their “normal” reaction time or doesn’t complete their assigned sequence in the correct order, it sends a signal to the Cleared2Drive System that something is wrong and prevents the vehicle from being started.

The Cleared2Drive system allows each driver 3 opportunities to get the sequence correct before locking them out for 2 hours. However, just because that individual is locked out doesn’t mean the vehicle can’t be driven by another driver already installed in the system.

The word is spreading.
Futrell reports, “We are now getting calls from parents whose child is going away for college or has a newly licensed teenager who is concerned that their child might make the fatal mistake of driving under the influence. I empathize with them because we all know that it only takes one mistake to permanently damage a young person’s life. Sometimes under age drivers don’t want their parents to find out they have been illegally “partying”, so instead of calling home or spending the night, they will risk driving impaired. Unfortunately, what they don’t realize but we as parents know, just how big of a risk that can be.”

Futrell is the first to acknowledge, people don’t come to her looking for technology.
“Our customers aren’t looking for technology; they are desperately seeking peace of mind. Any person, who has ever stayed up worrying about the safety of their loved one, knows exactly what I am talking about. We understand their worries, and appreciate their concerns,” said Futrell. Cleared2Drive was created to ease worries and allow families to start rebuilding lives and relationships.

About Cleared2Drive
Unlike humiliating breathalyzers, the Cleared2Drive System is a discreet ignition interlock system that uses sophisticated computer algorithms to detect when a person is impaired from prescription, illegal, over-the-counter drugs, and/or alcohol. Cleared2Drive does this by measuring the amount of time it takes that person to complete a sequence of tasks and comparing that information to the individual’s stored historical data. If the two sets of information don’t match it won’t permit the vehicle to be started. Cleared2Drive’s goal is to provide peace of mind to individuals who’s loved one is suffering from a substance abuse problem, while at the same provide a certain level of freedom to the addict.

Complete information is available at http://www.cleared2drive.com.