Vice Squad
Monday, February 19, 2007
Self-Experimentation by an Attorney General

You know those alcohol-detecting ankle bracelets that can monitor and report how much you have been drinking? Do you think that they really work? Well, I don't know if they work, and neither did the Attorney General of South Dakota. So he wore an ankle bracelet for three days, and somehow convinced three of his staffers to wear bracelets, too. Then he testified about his experience to a legislative commitee, revealing some details about the life of an Attorney General in the process:

The first day, he said, he had a couple of beers with dinner and "then I went home and made a bowl of popcorn and had a substantial glass of wine and watched the ballgame."

His blood-alcohol content gradually rose to 0.06, which is under the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle, but would be too much for a wearer in a zero-tolerance program.

After three days, he said, "The bracelet is sophisticated. It works as advertised, and it accurately reflected exactly how much alcohol I had to drink and when I had it to drink.''
His testimony apparently was compelling, as his request for funds to buy the bracelets was approved unanimously by the South Dakota House.

Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution touts self-experimentation and Seth Robert's analysis of the technique. Does the Attorney General of South Dakota read Marginal Revolution?

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