Move over personal breath tests, new technology is on its way

A lot of people think that the best way for the nation to put an end to drinking and driving altogether is for people to simply stop making the decision to consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Seems simple right? Well, not exactly.

That’s because everyone gauges their level of intoxication differently. While one person may feel impaired after drinking a single beer, the same may not be true for a majority of other people. A person who is used to consuming alcohol on a regular basis may gauge their intoxication level very differently, feeling fine to drive after waiting several hours after stopping alcohol consumption.

As those who have read posts on our blog before know, this is the real problem across the nation, including here in New York. Most people do not have the means to check their blood-alcohol level before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Though personal Breathalyzers could remedy this problem, not everyone owns one. Depending on the brand, these personal breath tests may or may not be accurate either, which only adds to the problem.

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes it may have the answer to this issue. It’s a new technology called Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety that would come equipped in vehicles in the future. The system uses infrared light to detect the presence of alcohol molecules either in the air or via a touch sensor. If a vehicle equipped with such a system detects an impairing amount of alcohol, the vehicle won’t even start.

Even though this technology likely won’t be available for at least another five more years, it may give hope to any of our Poughkeepsie readers who have received a DUI or faced drunk-driving charges because they simply miscalculated their intoxication level. It could even help some people avoid a future DUI charge without the embarrassment of having an ignition interlock system do it for them.

Source: Hot Hardware, “NHTSA Thwarts Drunk Drivers With In-Vehicle Alcohol Detection System,” Rob Williams, June 7, 2015

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Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.

New York Defense Lawyer
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