Soon, your car may stop you from drunk driving in Las Vegas. New technology is being developed that will prevent automobiles from working if the driver behind the steering wheel is inebriated. This technology could have the same life saving efficacy as seat belts or airbags. The technology, intended to prevent Clark County DUI will use a number of factors to determine if the potential operator of the motor vehicle is intoxicated. One of the factors will be to test samples from the driver’s breath. The process is being designed as a seamless system which will work automatically, without bothering or alerting the person behind the wheel. Another system will check the driver’s alcohol levels when he or she touches a certain part of the car. This could be integrated into the car’s start button or the steering wheel. Again, this test will be completed imperceptibly. These new technological solutions would prevent the embarrassment of current ignition lock systems that have large breath collection systems.
Anti-drunk driving advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving has approved of the technology and the president of the organization has been vocal in support. The system is being touted as having the potential to prevent the over 10,000 drunk driving accidents every year. The system, titled DADSS or Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, has been developed with the assistance of the NTSB and a car company lobbying group, Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety. While still in testing and development, the technology is set to debut to consumers in as short as five years and as long as eight years. The costs for the system are still being determined, but should not add more to the sticker price of a new automobile than other new safety systems such as anti-lock brakes and lane drifting warning devices.
Another potential technology solution for drunk driving is the autonomously driving vehicle. The new self-driving cars, currently being developed by tech giant Google and automobile manufacturers Audi and Mercedes-Benz, will basically take the passenger home, stopping at stoplights, avoiding pedestrians and generally obeying all traffic laws. Google’s current fleet of self-driving cars are currently being tested on the roads of Nevada and California and the only accidents the vehicles have been in have been the fault of those that hit the cars, not the self-driving cars. Just imaging a world with safer roads, where no one is in danger of being hurt or killed by someone operating a motor vehicle intoxicated in Southern Nevada.