Drink Driving Prevention Technology: Explained


Drink driving is a serious issue within our society. Every year, thousands of drivers are convicted of drunk driving.

This is far from a victimless crime. Drunk driving often leads to life-threatening injuries for both the drivers and any victims that are involved in the crime. In the worst cases, this can even result in death.

Luckily, one solution comes in the form of drink driving prevention technology. This technology can revolutionize the motor industry and should result in drunk driving cases being reduced. 

Here’s all the information that you need to know about this amazing anti-drunk driving technology!

What is Drink Driving Prevention Technology?

Drink driving prevention technology does exactly what it says. This technology is designed to reduce the levels of drunk driving. 

This technology is expected to take numerous forms. Currently, it is more limited, with alcolock being the primary form of this prevention technology.

Alcolock

Alcolock is essentially a breathalyzer that has been built into a car. If you are unfamiliar with this device, a breathalyszer calculates blood alcohol content from just a simple breath sample. They are commonly carried by law enforcement officers. 

But thanks to the invention of alcolocks, drivers can test whether they are above or below the alcohol consumption level. If they exceed this level, the driver will be unable to start the car.

In the USA, it is illegal for drivers over the age of 21 to have a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08%. 

If you are under the age of 21, drivers in the US must have an even lower blood alcohol concentration level. This figure will differ depending on the state, though it tends to be between 0.00% and 0.02%.

The nifty alcolock device should prevent drivers who exceed these levels from being able to drive a car, thus stopping drunk driving incidents from occurring. Though this is a great feature, the fact that it is a third-party company may limit the usage of these devices.

Nissan

Nissan is a major car manufacturer originating from Japan. They have produced several cars with enhanced safety features, with this being one of the company’s main selling points. 

This car was revealed in 2007. Unfortunately, it has not yet entered the marketplace despite being designed decades ago. Here are some of the main features that this innovative car possesses: 

  • Sensors located in the passenger and driver seats that identify alcohol in the air.
  • The detection of qualities associated with drunk drivers. This includes absent-mindedness and impulsive movements. 
  • Facial monitoring technology that could detect signs of alcohol consumption. This includes heightened blinking speeds. If the driver seems distracted, their seatbelt will be automatically tightened and a warning alert will be issued. This is designed to increase their focus.
  • Perhaps the main feature is the use of an odor sensor built into the gearbox. This feature would sense the presence of alcohol on the driver’s palm. If alcohol is detected when the car is parked, it will automatically lock. As a consequence, the driver will be unable to move.

Advantages of Drink Driving Prevention Technology

The benefits of this technology are numerous. Designed to prevent drunk driving, this technology will ensure that people are protected from drunk drivers. 

The current methods of managing drunk driving are ineffective and do not stop the issue from happening. Often, police officers will merely pull over drivers that they believe to be intoxicated by alcohol. This could be because they are driving outside of the lines or due to speeding. 

Whatever the case, if a police officer has probable cause, they can ask for a breath or urine sample to determine whether the driver is under the influence. 

This approach is far from guaranteed to prevent drunk drivers, as they can often be undetected. Meanwhile, drink driving technology is much more proactive in stopping this crime.

Disadvantages of Drink Driving Prevention Technology

You may assume that this technology is a win-win. After all, it has been constructed to keep people safe. Yet, there are a few downsides to the technology.

Just because there are traces of alcohol on your person, it does not mean that you are drunk or have consumed alcohol. Alcohol could simply have been split on a person’s hand. This is one of the main criticisms of the Nissan model. 

Some cleaning products even contain traces of alcohol. Moreover, many hand sanitizer products contain ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. Though alcohol-free versions are available, it seems crazy to think that you could be locked out of your car for using alcohol-based hand sanitizer or a cleaning product.

Moreover, someone could get away with using the car even if they’re drunk. For example, the gearbox odor sensor on the Nissan could simply be bypassed by wearing a pair of gloves. Alternatively, a person could simply wash their hands.

Is This Technology the Future?

Only time will tell whether anti-drink driving technology is the future. On the other hand, we expect it to be more widely adopted across the globe over the next few years.

In November 2021, Congress passed a bill that requires car manufacturers to introduce technology that will stop drunk drivers from using their cars. This precedent implies that the technology will become more widespread. 

Final Thoughts

Preventing drunk driving is certainly a worthy cause. Hopefully, more drink driving prevention technologies will be invented in the future, resulting in them becoming increasingly widespread. This technology could save lives!

Matthew Robbs

I have been working on cars since I was a kid and I love taking a vehicle that isn't working and bringing it back to life. I have owned quite a few cars over the years and looking for information about different vehicles is still hard online so that is why I started this website.

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