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Could Your Car Stop You From Drunk Driving?

man drinking a beer while driving | Could Your Car Stop You From Drunk DrivingDrunk driving continues to claim lives every single year. In fact, in 2018, 188 people died in drunk driving accidents in Colorado alone. Across the country, drunk driving killed over 10,500 people that year. 

To help reduce the number of drunk driving accidents on our nation’s roads, an infrastructure law recently included a provision that mandated the use of drunk driving technology. Once cars become equipped with this technology, it could save more lives than airbags. 

How could your car stop you from drunk driving?

There are two main categories of drunk driving technologies: systems that measure your blood alcohol level and cameras that watch for signs of drunkenness. 

Built-in BAC Sensors

One system being tested is a sensor that analyzes cabin air for traces of alcohol. The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety is a project that is working to detect driver’s blood alcohol content levels. If a higher than safe level is detected, the vehicle would essentially stop moving. 

While current models of this technology require a driver to blow a puff of air into the direction of the sensor, manufacturers are hoping to improve the device, so it automatically takes a sample of cabin air. For this to be viable, the sensor must be able to accurately determine a driver’s breath from the breath of possibly intoxicated passengers.  

Another sensor being tested is a fingertip or touch-based sensor. This sensor would shine a light onto the driver’s fingertip and measure the BAC based on the light reflected back. Ideally, this sensor would be mounted on something the driver had to touch, like an ignition button or steering wheel. 

Impairment Cameras

Volvo is trying a different way to detect driver impairment. They will roll out new technology that will essentially look for signs of impairment using cameras. Cameras are already being installed in vehicles. The idea is to use those already installed cameras to detect whether a driver is impaired. 

To determine if a driver is driving impaired, the cameras would look for signs of impairment, including glossy eyes, pupil dilation, and nystagmus. Nystagmus is a distinctive involuntary movement that occurs when a driver is drunk. Police officers use this in field sobriety tests to apprehend drunk drivers. 

Unfortunately, drunk driving technology is years away from being a reality. However, it does offer promise for eliminating drunk driving accidents forever. 

Contact Our Colorado Springs Car Accident Law Firm Today

Greg Green of the Green Law Firm, P.C. YouTube ThumbnailIf you or someone you love suffered an injury in a drunk driving car accident, you need a law firm on your side that can help you get the compensation you need – and deserve. We go after drunk drivers hard, and we protect our injured clients every step of the way. Contact the Green Law Firm, P.C. today by calling (719) 694-8515, or by filling out the contact form on this page, to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss your case.