We all know that driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous and that we should never do it. Even so, it does sometimes happen. You’ve had a couple of drinks, but you think you’re okay to drive. Now you have to make the decision- call a cab or go ahead and chance driving home.
Soon, your own car may be able to help make that decision for you.
Advancements in automotive DUI deterrent technology may soon keep a vehicle’s ignition from starting if the driver is intoxicated. The technology is so cutting-edge, developers are comparing its life-saving potential to that of the introduction of the seatbelt decades ago.
Researchers at the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), a government-funded researcher organization, are working on two new concepts. The first is a breath analyzer that measures the driver’s blood alcohol content. Sensors mounted in front of the driver would detect blood alcohol level in his or her breath without the driver even being aware of the process.
The second method would screen for alcohol when the driver presses the start button or touches another chosen surface on the vehicle. An infrared light scanner in the sensor would measure alcohol levels under the surface of the skin.
According to experts, either application would be revolutionary due to the subtlety of their nature. Ignition interlock devices currently in use are indiscreet and embarrassing to use. With the new technology, drivers would no longer have to wait around to start their vehicle after blowing into a tube.
The technology is garnering praise from driving safety advocates, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Collen Sheehy-Church, the president of MADD has deemed vehicles outfitted with such technology as the solution to a problem that has troubled society since the advent of the vehicle and cost too many lives along the way.
MADD reports that approximately 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents every year.
Spurred by frustratingly high drunk driving deaths, DADSS engineers, in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, are spearheading the ground-breaking research.
Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety CEO Rob Strassburger says his organization pictures a world with zero drunk driving.
Bud Zaouk, Director at DADSS, reports that vehicles could be outfitted with the technology in five to eight years. He is unsure yet how much the system would affect the price of new cars, but estimates that it will be in the same range as other safety advancements, such as accident-avoidance and lane departure alert systems.
When they hit the market, researchers envision the systems as an optional safety feature rather than a requirement. For the meantime, engineers are focused on streamlining the system for maximum speed. Precision, and accuracy.
This new technology could eventually replace ignition interlock systems currently mandated by courts after DUI convictions. These systems are installed and maintained at the driver’s expense, sometimes after the first DUI conviction.
Contact Our Boulder DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI in Boulder, Denver, Aurora, or anywhere in the State of Colorado, it is important to begin building an aggressive defense against these serious charges. There are ways to fight a DUI. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.