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NHTSA Investing in In-Car Alcohol Detection Devices to Prevent DUI Accidents

The threat of car accidents caused by drunk driving has declined over the past few years, but as Atlanta car accident attorneys, we know that intoxicated driving is still a major factor in auto accidents across the state. These accidents often result in severe personal injuries and wrongful death. Therefore, it is good to see that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is continuing to focus on minimizing the threat from intoxicated drivers.The agency is investing in the development of an in-car device that will help detect alcohol levels on a motorist.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investing $2.2 million in the development of the in-vehicle touch-based alcohol testing device.The agency, through the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety has invested in a company called TruTouch Technologies.This company says that it has developed the world’s first touch-based alcohol detection device that can be installed in vehicles.

The device can be used to detect alcohol on a motorist through infrared light.All that the motorist has to do is place his finger on the infrared sensor device, and the device detects alcohol levels within seconds.If the device finds that the alcohol content is beyond a specified limit, then it will disable the starter, preventing drivers from driving the car.What’s more, the device will prevent tampering with the system by recording the person’s biometric information, so that another person cannot use the device to cheat the system.

These devices are somewhat similar to ignition interlock devices that are currently mandated in the vehicles of certain drunk driving offenders in some states.These devices however, require a motorist to blow into them.If the device finds that the motorist’s breath exceeds a specified alcohol level, then the device shuts down the engine, preventing the driver from starting the car.In many states, these devices are mandated in the vehicles of repeat DUI offenders, although some states also require them to be used in the vehicles of first-time DUI offenders.

According to Trutouch, its device will dramatically reduce the incidence of drunk driving. In fact, the company is so confident about the accuracy, reliability and usefulness of the device, that it is predicting a complete eradication of drunk driving within the next decade, if this device is adopted in all vehicles. I very much doubt this will be the case, but the device may certainly be helpful in greatly reducing the number of drunk drivers on the roads.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration certainly seems to think so, judging by the $2.2 million that the agency has invested in these efforts.The grant is meant to encourage more research into the development of the In-Vehicle Alcohol Detection Test.According to the company, the device will be available on vehicles within this decade.

The decline of drunk driving accident deaths in Georgia has been, in part, because of an increase in DUI laws and the lowered public acceptance of intoxicated driving.It’s time to take the war against drunk driving to the next level, by making it impossible for intoxicated drivers to drive at all.

The Atlanta auto accident attorneys at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in car accidents across the metro Atlanta region and Georgia.