Driving Under the Influence aka DUI, is an offense in most places around the world. It can cause havoc, from the driver losing his or her life, to damages to property or the loss of lives of others. The government has been actively fighting DUI over the decades, but many people are simply so irresponsible, that they continue to drive under the influence. With the current state of technological developments, it has become necessary to integrate new car features that prevent driving under the influence. Although DUI can relate to any consciousness altering substance, the current focus of DUI prevention devices is mainly on alcohol.
The Risks of Driving Under the Influence
In a 2013 / 2014 study, it was found that drivers with a breath alcohol level of 0.08% were roughly four times more likely to cause an accident than a sober driver, and that those with 0.15% breath levels were even 12 times more likely to crash. According to the St.Petersburg, Florida, DUI lawyers Khonsari Law Group, driving under the influence is normally considered a misdemeanor when it’s the first time. Most states will even consider the second and even third times a misdemeanor if enough time has passed between both offenses. After that, it becomes an offense, and the individual can be mandated by law to adapt corrective measures.
Current Anti-DUI Car Feature
The only currently used car feature that prevents DUI is the Ignition Interlock Device. It is basically a breathalyzer for an individual’s motor vehicle. The system requires that the individual blows into the breathalyzer for a breath alcohol analysis, and only if he or she passes the breath test, will the car’s engine be able to start. Its use is currently being enforced in 28 states of the U.S. to monitor drunk driving offenders. Apart from these Ignition interlock devices, there are no other legally backed car features to prevent DUI, but there are two devices in the works.
Future Anti DUI Car Features
The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (aka DADSS) is an effort by the American government to partner with automakers in creating a standard feature for intoxication detection in cars, and the immobilization of the vehicle once its driver has been confirmed to be intoxicated. The system has been under development since 2008 and is expected to be available starting from 2018. There are basically two sub-systems involved, they are:
– Breath Based System
This system detects alcohol particles in the driver’s breath, instead of requiring the driver to blow into a breathalyzer like the currently used ignition interlock systems. It is noninvasive, and features a much more advanced technology than current systems.
– Touch Based System
The second system determines a driver’s blood alcohol content by touch. The driver must place a finger on a bio-sensor, and this bio-sensor shines a light on the driver’s finger, and then uses a technology known as near-infrared tissue spectroscopy to determine the individual’s blood alcohol level.
In any case, once a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher has been detected, the car’s engine will definitely not start.
DUI prevention devices are getting better by the day. Today, you still have to blow into a breathalyzer linked with your car’s engine, but in the future, everything will be smaller and probably, even more efficient. As a responsible citizen, you can also buy an ignition interlock device, have it installed in your car and use it voluntarily, but it will still take a long while before the automakers come up with a system foolproof enough to be universally deployed.