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New Technology Could Prevent Drunk Drivers From Starting Their Cars

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

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Drunk driving accidents account for many fatalities and serious injuries each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,076 people were killed in crashes with legally intoxicated drivers in 2013. New technology is being designed that would prevent these dangerous drivers from being able to drive.

How New Devices Will Stop Drunk Drivers From Driving

Currently, many states require drivers convicted of DUI to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles. This device requires drivers to blow into a tube to sense their blood alcohol content (BAC) before they can start their vehicles. However, exciting new technology called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) would go farther in preventing intoxicated drivers from driving. It would do the following:

  • A passive set of breath sensors or touch-sensitive contact points on the ignition switch or gear shift would immediately calculate the level of alcohol in the driver’s bloodstream.
  • If the driver’s BAC was over the legal limit, the vehicle would not start.

Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety A New Technology

Researchers designing this technology are working with the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers and the NHTSA, and this device could be in vehicles within the next five years. The estimated cost of this option is between $150 and $200 per vehicle.

NHTSA officials hope it will be unnecessary to mandate installation of this option but have not ruled out requiring it. They believe it will be especially popular with consumers who want to protect their teen drivers.

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Category: Auto Accident


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