Will future cars be able to sense when a drunk driver is behind the wheel?
Last month, regulators announced that new technologies were already being
developed by cooperating manufacturers that will prevent drunk drivers
from starting their vehicles. Even more startling is they revealed that
the technology could be an optional car feature by the end of the decade.
The New York Times reports, the Department of Transportation last month unveiled two different systems
currently in development. One will use sensitive touch pads on the steering
wheel and push ignition button to detect a driver's blood alcohol
content from capillaries just under the skin. Another will use sensitive
ventilation to measure any alcohol detectable in the driver's breath,
much like a breathalyzer test.
Jeff Michael, an associate administrator for research and program development
of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says that for the
technology to go to market, it needs to be "highly accurate, very
fast and completely passive." He notes that technology that could
mistakenly keep sober drivers from starting their car would not be tolerated
by consumers, but that the technology, if perfected, would be highly desirable
for many car buyers. "The potential is huge," he said.
Perfecting Groundbreaking Technology
As exciting as the potential for these technologies are, they still pose
certain complications. For instance, developers of the touch pad system
are grappling with just where the sensors should be placed. Without mindful
placement, a vehicle could be started by a passenger or bystander for
a driver who is intoxicated.
The American Beverage Institute has also voiced concerns over technology,
calling it "misguided" in its policing of all drivers and not
just the habitual drunk drivers who tend to be in harmful accidents. They
are also worried that the technology could dissuade drivers from social
drinking. Jeff Michael countered those concerns, however, reiterating
that the technology is being specifically developed to detect blood alcohol
content over the legal limit.
If you have been charged with a DUI or any other criminal offense, then
your choice in representation is the most critical decision you have to make. At
Wruble Law Group, our South Bend criminal defense attorneys have built our reputation for
aggressively fighting to protect our clients' rights and securing
reductions and dismissals whenever possible.
Ensure that your representation is capable of producing results.
Contact us today to start exploring your legal options.