back to article New Jersey lawmakers propose ban on folks drunk droning

The State of New Jersey is considering a law to criminalize flying drones while drunk or stoned. A bill introduced last week by Assembleywoman Annete Quijano (D-Union) would make it a crime to operate a recreatinal drone while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk-droning would be a fourth-degree crime in the state ( …

  1. PC LOAD LETTER

    Is this a huge problem in the fine state of New Jersey?

    Or another solution in search of a problem? Then again my job is reading El Reg articles and not producing legislation...

    1. Big John Silver badge

      Re: Is this a huge problem in the fine state of New Jersey?

      Drones driven by drunks are downright dangerous.

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Re: Is this a huge problem in the fine state of New Jersey?

        @BJ

        Odd that you, of all people, can't see the value of (strictly) enforcing or tweaking generic laws about operating machinery under the influence and/or reckless endangerment.

        Rather than adding another bit of governmental special-purpose legislation.

        I'm with the OP - local politician wants her name in the papers.

        1. Big John Silver badge

          Re: Is this a huge problem in the fine state of New Jersey?

          > "Odd that you, of all people, can't see the value of (strictly) enforcing or tweaking generic laws about operating machinery under the influence and/or reckless endangerment."

          What makes you think I can't? Did I say anything about my legal opinion?

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Is this a huge problem in the fine state of New Jersey?

      More like a busybody who has nothing better to do than take care of the state budget and debt.

  2. handleoclast Silver badge

    Is that enough?

    Car drivers need situational awareness in only two dimensions. Drone controllers have to handle three dimensions. OK, not as much traffic up there, but you also have to do mental translations/rotations to put figure out the drone's reference frame.

    Anybody done any tests? I suspect performance with a drone falls off more rapidly wrt alcohol than performance in a car. But I could be wrong.

    1. FozzyBear Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Is that enough?

      Not sure. Here hold my beer!

    2. BongoJoe

      Re: Is that enough?

      Car drivers need situational awareness in only two dimensions

      I would have thought it was a lot more than just two. There's time as well to consider as well as the plain vector. Such as, if I slow down will there be enough room for the oncoming car which is now moving off on an angle away from directly on, or if I put another few mph onto my speed, will I get into the passing place coming up and will I be able to stop? Is there ice on the road and, if so, are my rear wheels following the same path as my front wheels?

      But cars turn and there's all sort of differential equations going on in real time in one's head to anticipate where things are going.

      So, I would say two dimensional awareness isn't anywhere sufficient.

      1. handleoclast Silver badge

        Re: Is that enough?

        So, I would say two dimensional awareness isn't anywhere sufficient.

        Pedant! You're almost as bad as me.

        Obviously, I meant car drivers have to deal with two spatial dimensions and drone wranglers have to deal with three. You went all Einstein on me and invoked space–time. OK, three dimensions for car drivers and four for drone controllers, if you insist. It's still more complicated for a drone. Minus some complication because there's less traffic up there. Plus some complication because if you're piloting a drone heading towards you then you have to do mental co-ordinate transformation.

        Thinking about it, drivers have to do similar mental transformations when reversing using only the mirror. Which some drivers are incredibly bad at and/or have to look over their shoulder rather than use the mirror.

        It's going to depend to some extent how much experience you have, but I still suspect performance wrt alcohol is going to fall off more rapidly for drone controllers. If the drone has a forward camera that sends back data in real time that's probably going to be a lot closer to driving a car, except in 3 dimensions rather than 2 (or 4 rather than 3). But since I've never piloted a drone, I could well be wrong.

        BTW, although I've been known to stagger around a bit when I've had a few drinks, I have always progressed through time at a uniform, steady pace no matter how drunk I am. One of these dimensions is not like the others.

        1. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: Is that enough?

          "Thinking about it, drivers have to do similar mental transformations when reversing using only the mirror. Which some drivers are incredibly bad at and/or have to look over their shoulder rather than use the mirror."

          While I agree with most of your post I must point out that I, at least, look over my shoulder when reversing because the field of view and general awareness is so much better.

          I have no problem with translating and acting on the view through a mirror but it doesn't show you enough of the world around you. And as for the so-called "reversing camera", don't get me started (only useful for a tiny distorted view around the level of the bumper).

  3. Captain DaFt

    Inner Scrooge disappointed

    "New Jersey lawmakers propose ban on folks drunk droning"

    And here I was thinking the headline referred to banning drunken Christmas Carolers. (What with it being that season and all)

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Inner Scrooge disappointed

      I was hoping it would apply to all drunks who just won't shut up.

  4. Chemical Bob

    This is the USA, no legislation needed...

    ...just shoot the damn things out of the sky if the operator is too fucked up to fly. He/she/it probably wouldn't have a clue what happened.

  5. David Nash Silver badge

    Seems sensible

    If existing legislation doesn't cover it, then it seems a good idea.

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