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Will Your Car Tell You When You’re Too Drunk To Drive?

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DrinkYou’ve had a fantastic evening out watching the game with friends at the local bar. You get ready to drive home, and your car refuses to start because you have too much alcohol in your blood. Welcome to one possible future!

Let’s start with the Fox News video report on the new gadget that may make this possible. The idea of using this approach to reduce the number of drunk-driving-caused car accidents is a fascinating one. So much so that Ohio is pushing legislation supporting it. John Arthur Hutchinson, a reporter for The News-Herald, gives us a synopsis:

The Roads Safe Act would promote the development of Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program that people could choose to install in their cars, said [U.S. Sen. Sherrod] Brown, D-Ohio, during a conference call Wednesday with statewide media members.

Courts could also choose to order those convicted of driving drunk to have the technology installed in their cars.

Since drunk driving accounted for 32% of all auto accident fatalities last year, a whopping 11,000 deaths, all ideas are worth considering. Still, I cannot help but wonder how “foolproof” the new devices might be.

In both of the proposed technologies presented in the Fox video, the driver has to pass a test. Whether it is the breathalyzer or the fingertip touchpad, there is one major flaw that I cannot see a way around at this point. All it takes is a sober person willing to take the test on the driver’s behalf before the real driver takes to the road. There is no way — that I am aware of — to ensure the person being tested is the actual driver. It’s a lot like underage drinking — no matter where you go in the U.S., you will find kids who have found someone of age to buy them beer.

While I think this is a great idea, it has a long way to go before it becomes truly viable. Projections indicate that we are still 8-10 years away from it reaching the market, so there is plenty of room for development.

What do you think? Will this reduce drunk driving-related accidents and fatalities in the future, or will it fail to be effective because it is so easily circumnavigated? Let us know in the comments!

Image by Andreas H. Lunde, used under its Creative Commons license.


3 Responses to “Will Your Car Tell You When You’re Too Drunk To Drive?”


My daughter and I first consulted with Dan Rosen after a very serious auto accident. Dan had several phone conferences with me, and Tracie was available whenever I called. We would recommend personal injury attorney Dan Rosen to anyone!
Sally from Denver, Colorado

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