July 27, 2020—A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety predicts that putting alcohol detection technology in vehicles could save thousands of lives.
A sensor on the inside of the car would measure the driver's breath and detect the level of alcohol present. If the driver is over the legal limit, the ignition would refuse to turn over and the car would never start. Current alcohol-detection technology requires deep, forceful breaths, but the newer blood alcohol concentration technology can measure levels through normal breathing from the driver's seat.
According to Consumer Reports, the vehicle can distinguish between the driver and other passengers' breaths, meaning a designated driver could still drive the vehicle even if others in the vehicle are intoxicated.
Drunk driving-related accidents make up nearly 30 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities, the report noted.