After a long work week, many people like to unwind by sharing a couple of drinks with some friends. Though one or two drinks might not impair one’s ability to drive, a breathalyzer test may say otherwise. Many of these Friday night drinkers may find themselves pulled over by a cop and soon facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge.
What if new automotive technology could prevent these life-altering charges? New technology from a private-public partnership hopes to do just that and prevent drunk driving before it even starts.
Preventing DUIs and the damage they cause
Texas residents know how damaging and DUI charge can be. These criminal charges follow a person around the rest of their life, showing up in background checks for jobs, apartments and loans. What’s more, many DUIs are not that harmless – drunk drivers ages 16-21 are 60 times more likely to die in a crash than a sober driver.
New technology from a private-public partnership aims to prevent these deaths and drunk driving altogether. The Driver Alcohol Detection Safety System (DADSS) takes a queue from breathalyzer machines and ignition interlock devices (IID), using a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). The system works by testing the ambient air in the car’s cabin before allowing the engine to turn over. Should the air read higher than the legal BAC limit of .08%, the tech will prevent the car from running and the impaired individual from driving.
New tech leads to new regulations
The DADSS already has bipartisan support among American lawmakers. At the end of 2019, two senators drafted legislation that would include this new technology on all new cars by 2024. With field tests underway, researchers believe they can hit those targets. The DADSS will likely first be available as an optional safety feature before receiving enough lawmaker support to mandate its inclusion.
Should you or a loved one suffer an injury at the hands of a drunk driver, you can pursue legal action through a local lawyer familiar with Texas DUI laws. An attorney will assess your case, contact the relevant insurance companies and aggressively pursue protecting your rights to safety.