New Government Technology Could End Drunk Driving Forever

Aug. 17th, 2015   /   , , ,

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According to the Centers for Disease Control (the CDC), in the U.S., more than 10,000 people die each year in drunk driving crashes (that’s about thirty people per day), accounting for roughly 1/3rd of the total deaths that result from traffic accidents each year in the United States. As our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green know, DUI-involved car crashes cause agony for the families of the victims; in addition, though, they drive-up auto insurance rates and drain the resources of government emergency response organizations. (The collective annual cost of DUI crashes in the U.S. totals almost $60 billion.)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (the NHTSA), a department within the federal government trying to solve the drunk driving crisis in this country, released a report last month in which it detailed a potentially life-saving technology which could prevent drunk driving, making the dangerous yet all too common practice a thing of the past. The report, as our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers know, discussed collaboration between the NHTSA and a technology industry association on a project known as the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program, which is aiming to produce technology that would prevent someone from operating a motor vehicle if they are under the influence of alcohol.

The Alcohol Detection System would prevent a car from moving if the driver registered a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above .08 (the legal limit in all 50 states). This program will be made available as a safety feature in new vehicles, just like automatic braking, lane departure warnings, etc., appealing to parents who want reassurance that if their children are drinking, they won’t be driving. “Quick, accurate, reliable, and affordable”, the new system would be integrated into vehicles effortlessly, and it wouldn’t interfere with normal operation of the vehicle, as our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers know.

The Alcohol Detection System would be available in one of two very innovative, non-obstructive forms: breath-based or touch-based:

  • The breath-based system would pull the driver’s exhaled breath into a sensor (for instance, located on the driver’s side door or in the steering column). By beaming infrared light at the breath molecules, the sensor would be able to determine the amount and proportion of ethanol being emitted by the driver and it would thus be able to determine the driver’s BAC.
  • The touch-based system detects alcohol below the surface of the skin; it would work through sensors on the touch-ignition button or on the gearshift, which would beam light at the skin in order to detect, with infrared technology, the level of alcohol in the blood below the surface of the skin.

With both forms of the technology, if the sensor(s) register a BAC of .08 of above, the car would be prevented from moving. An animated video showing how the Alcohol Detection System works can be viewed here.

Because of its seamless integration and the fact that it would be purchased as an add-on in new vehicles, it would have mass appeal, as our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers know, and wouldn’t just be “available” to DUI offenders under order from a court.

If you have any questions about this exciting new technology which has the potential of saving thousands of lives each year, or if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of another, please contact our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com. We look forward to assisting you!

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