Well that was more prophetic than I thought. I ended my last post on DWD (Droning While Drunk) mentioning the fact that perhaps more attention would be given to irresponsible operating an unmanned vehicle after one crashed in the White House lawn. Not only has it gotten the drone operator in hot water, it turned out that the reason for the crash was…DWD. Go Big or Go Home, but probably not a good idea when it’s the home of the POTUS.
Drunk Spy Crashed the White House Drone
The man who flew his drone into a tree at the White House early Monday morning works for the nation’s satellite-snooping agency and had been drinking prior to the incident, according to the Secret Service. The man, who works for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, said he was hanging out at a friend’s nearby apartment. He was worried the lost drone may have hit White House premises but went to bed hoping it hadn’t. When his friends told him about the reports the next day, he decided to talk to authorities. Read more about it at The New York Times.
While it sounds like the authorities so far are being pretty lenient on the guy, as he is not being held in some basement getting the Gitmo treatment; I bet he will think twice before operating a drone under the influence again. Now what will they do to someone who winds up killing someone else by accidentally (drunk) running it into a car going 70 mph, an aircraft, or just someone water skiing down the river. It will be like a guided missile. Unfortunately, I do think it will happen in the near future. Getting a license to operate unmanned vehicles (of a certain range or type) is probably inevitable as well as thought out legal consequences for unlawful operation. The end of free-range drones is near.
This idea for a story has been sitting in my drafts folder for a couple of months. It’s amazing how fast things are moving on all technological fronts.
The post was originally inspired by an accident involving a drone that hit an unsuspecting person at a football game here locally – Tuscaloosa police searching for operator of drone that fell on fan during game days. I was going to elaborate on how I thought we would probably see more of this and perhaps the introduction of some new laws and regulations; specifically focusing on what officials would or could do if the drone operator was determined to be under the influence. Accidents like this have probably already happened, just not deemed newsworthy. Almost certainly some fun-loving college students have totaled out their unmanned vehicles while inebriated, but I haven’t seen this documented either. I believe it will not be long before we see our first whatever they are going call it ODUI (Operating Drone Under The Influence), DWI (Droning While Intoxicated), or my favorite DWD (Droning While Drunk).
Now comes news of more illegal activity involving drones; this time using them to smuggle drugs across the Mexican-US border:
Drone carrying drugs crashes south of U.S. border
A smuggler’s drone flying from Mexico crash-landed just south of the U.S. border city of San Ysidro, California, in a failed drug delivery this week, Tijuana Municipal Police said. The drone was loaded with more than six pounds of the synthetic drug crystal meth and crashed Tuesday night in a supermarket parking lot in Tijuana. Apparently the smugglers became too greedy, as the silver and black, six-propeller Spreading Wings S900 Model was not able to withstand the weight of the load and crashed. “In San Diego, the street value, at last account, for a six-pound load would be about $48,000,” DEA Special Agent Matt Barden said. “Once you get it across the border, that stuff’s like gold.”
What’s next? With unidentified drones landing on the White House lawn, we probably wont have to wait long to find out.
I heard this on The Current and for some reason thought it might have to do with recovery. After watching the video, the verdict is still out, but it undoubtedly is dealing with issues of youth substance use. If you take the first image of the kids drinking in front of a “Dead End” sign, add the fact that the narrator never appears to be doing drugs or drink himself, and throw in the chorus chants of “I am the Savior” and “I hear God’s Whisper”; I would like to think the meaning is somewhat positive. Hmmm. Here’s my take… this youth is saying he will not bow down to the peer pressure to do drugs and drink, he is listening to his Higher Power. Regardless of it’s intended meaning, I still really like the song. What do you think? Anti or Pro on drug and alcohol use?