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How the Government Plans to Prevent Drunk Driving

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In 25 states across the U.S., drunk driving offenders must have ignition interlock devices installed in their cars. A similar technology may soon be available as an upgrade to new vehicles, in order to keep drunk driving from happening in the first place.

This new system, the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), was created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and features noninvasive means of measuring your blood alcohol level. Touch points on the start button and gear shift, according to a report by The Christian Science Monitor, will “shine a light on the driver’s finger and use near-infrared tissue spectroscopy to ascertain how much the person has had to drink. If the driver’s blood alcohol content is above 0.08 the car’s engine won’t start.”

This system, which has been in development since 2008, was given the green light by Congress in 2012. One year later, the NHTSA began collaborating with 15 major automakers to continue research.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, there was approximately one drunk driving-related death every 51 minutes. Drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.08—the legal definition of intoxication—are four times more likely to get into a crash than sober drivers. Those with a level of 0.15 percent are 12 times more likely to cause a collision.

With statistics like this, “There’s not going to be a parent who isn’t going to want this in their child’s car,” NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind says.

Despite the government's endorsement, DADSS installation will not be mandatory. Instead, it will likely be offered as an upgrade costing around $150 to $200. 

Not everyone is in favor of the spread of this technology. Sarah Longwell, director of the American Beverage Institute, argues that “because alcohol isn’t immediately absorbed into the bloodstream, and BAC could rise while driving, DADSS would have to set its limit below 0.08 … DADSS will simply stop many responsible social drinkers who have a glass of wine with dinner from starting their cars.” 

[h/t: Yahoo.com]

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A Restaurant In Australia Is Garnishing Its Margaritas With Frozen Eyeballs
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Jesse Hunniford/MONA

A cocktail special at a new restaurant in Australia has fallen under the global gaze thanks to its floating gaze. As Nerdist reports, Faro Tapas, a new Spanish eatery at Tasmania's Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), offers a black margarita garnished with a frozen bull eyeball.

The frosty drink contains tequila, mezcal, lime, and charcoal (presumably for color). It's served in a glass with a black salted rim and the aforementioned toothpick-skewered peeper.

Gourmet Traveller recommends that those brave enough to sample Faro Tapas's bovine booze drink it quickly, as the eyeball's ice casing melts. (If you're willing to risk brain freeze to avoid eye mush, this sounds like a smart move.)

That said, adventurous drinkers with stomachs of steel might find Faro Tapas's eyeball-garnished margarita tame compared to the Yukon Territory's Sourtoe cocktail (it contains a dehydrated human toe) and countless other weird and wacky cocktails served up around the world. Bottoms (and eyeballs) up!

[h/t Nerdist]

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Health
Drink Up: New Study Concludes Wine Can Offset Dementia
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The health benefits of wine can sometimes be overstated by people who are a few glasses deep and slurring their words. Should you ever find yourself in a position to defend your moderate imbibing, you have supporting evidence: A new study says two glasses of wine daily can potentially reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's.

The study, which appears in Scientific Reports, shows that wine has an effect on one's glymphatic function, or the way the brain removes toxins. To clear itself of damaging and accumulated proteins like tau and beta amyloid, which are often linked with dementia, the brain pumps in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) to act as a flushing solution. All sorts of variables can influence the glymphatic system's operation, including trauma, stroke, and excessive alcohol intake.

But when researchers dosed the mice in the study with moderate alcohol—amounting to 2.6 drinks daily—the glymphatic system was more efficient, removing more waste and exhibiting less inflammation than the teetotaling control mice.

As is usually the case when it comes to booze, you can have too much of a good thing. When mice got the equivalent of 7.9 drinks daily, their glymphatic system grew sluggish until the overindulging was terminated.

"Studies have shown that low-to-moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lesser risk of dementia, while heavy drinking for many years confers an increased risk of cognitive decline," lead study author Maiken Nedergaard, of the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in a press statement. "This study may help explain why this occurs. Specifically, low doses of alcohol appear to improve overall brain health."

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