by Robert Montenegro
Many people in the United States convicted of a DUI are required to install breathalyzer equipment, also known as Ignition Interlock Devices, in their vehicles. Upon entering the car, the driver is required to blow into the device, which then detects whether the driver has too much alcohol in their blood. If so, it’ll do exactly what its name suggests and prevent the car from starting. Then, at random times on the road, the device will require a retest to make sure the driver isn’t up to any funny business behind the wheel. Failure to take the retest results in the car transforming into a rolling noise violation — alarms hollering, horns blaring — until the driver pulls over and turns off the ignition.
While this system tends to work well in preventing repeat offenses, an IID isn’t always appealing to those who want to voluntarily install one to be extra safe. They’re not exactly discreet, cost at least $50/month, and are specifically designed to be kind of inconvenient. Luckily, we’re about to enter a new era of DUI prevention built upon a bevy of smart new technologies.
Becca Smouse of USA Today has the scoop:
“A new generation of technology is taking shape around systems that prevent cars from operating if the driver is drunk. Researchers say the new technology is so promising that they compare it to the advent of the seat belt in terms of its potential.
‘This is the single best opportunity we have to save lives,’ says Bud Zaouk, director of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), a government-funded research organization.”
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