Should Alcohol Detection Devices Be In All Cars?

Finding ways to lower the overall prevalence of drunk driving in Michigan and the U.S. is important, given how many deaths and injuries drunk driving can cause. Could technology be a big help with combating this dangerous driving behavior?

One of the technologies aimed at preventing drunk driving are alcohol detection devices for cars, such as ignition interlock devices. Such devices measure a driver's blood alcohol level and will prevent a driver from being able to start their car if this level is above a certain mark. Currently, one of the main ways these devices show up in a vehicle is that a requirement to use such a device is sometimes part of the sentencing of a person convicted of drunk driving.

Efforts are currently being made to make alcohol detection systems for cars faster, more streamlined and less cumbersome to use. As this push is being made, one question that some people are raising is: should we consider not just using alcohol detection systems as a penalty for drunk driving convictions, but rather having all new cars put on the market have such devices?

Recently, a study looked at car accident data to make some estimates regarding what the effect would be if all new vehicles had to have an alcohol detection system installed in them. The study predicts that such a rule, in its first 15 years of implementation, would prevent tens of thousands of traffic fatalities and well over a million non-fatal traffic accident injuries.

What are your thoughts on the idea of having all new cars have alcohol detection systems in them? Do you think that such a requirement would lead to massive reductions in drunk driving? Are there any problems you could see with such a rule? Would you be in favor of such a rule? How likely do you think it is that such a rule will someday be implemented? What do you see as the most promising avenues for reducing drunk driving?

Alcohol-related traffic accidents can have massive impacts on their victims. Auto accident attorneys can fight for the rights of those who have been hurt by a drunk driver.

Source: KDAL, "Sobriety tests in all new cars might prevent most drunk driving deaths," Lisa Rapaport, March 19, 2015

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