Drunken driving accidents kill around 10,000 Americans a year. It costs billions of dollars in medical bills, legal fees, damage to property and other harms. As a result, the government and non-profits pour millions of dollars into social programs and technology to reduce the rate of intoxicated drivers. There are a variety of onboard technologies in the works aimed at keeping drunk drivers from operating motor vehicles.
The Department of Transportation is touting a new technology that could, in theory, roll out in all new cars by the end of the decade. The technology would detect if a driver had been drinking and then render the engine inoperable to prevent the intoxicated person from driving.
The technology reviewed by government regulators is a pad that detects blood-alcohol content through the blood. It could be applied to the steering wheel or the starter button for keyless ignition systems. A similar system measures a driver’s breath.
The technology is being researched as part of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program. The goal is for one or both systems working in tandem to be available as optional equipment on most vehicles sold in the United States. The idea is to create a system that is passive and invisible to drivers. The system will only activate when it needs to prevent drunk driving.
Unfortunately, this technology is not yet available. Therefore, many drivers are still arrested for drunk driving. If you are facing a conviction for driving under the influence, then you may want to consult with a defense lawyer. Being confronted with a DUI/DWI charge is serious and could implicate your professional life. A defense lawyer can safeguard your future.