Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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New technology aims to reduce drunk driving

New York has some extremely strict laws and penalties for drunk driving. This is something that can be seen in other parts of the country as well. The need to improve safety on the road for all persons is important yet so too is the need to ensure fair treatment to all drivers. The negative stereotypes about people who are arrested for driving while intoxicated are not always accurate.

Accuracy problems are also noted with many of today’s ignition interlock devices. These systems can be installed into the vehicles of people who have been convicted of DWI offenses depending upon their sentences. They require sometimes multiple attempts to get readings and can be highly inconvenient as well as incorrect. Despite this, the approach of utilizing technology to determine potential intoxication as a way of preventing a vehicle from being driven is still pursued.

Research funded by various car manufacturers as well as regulators within the automotive industry is focused on developing such technology that would be built into new vehicles. If intoxication is detected, vehicles would not be able to be driven. One system would require breath input while the other would detect alcohol use through touch alone. Sensors could be in remote starter buttons or steering wheels. This technology could be available on the market within the next five years and would be optional for people purchasing new vehicles.

Concerns about drunk driving are not reserved for those people wishing to stamp it out. Persons who are arrested for suspected intoxication while driving are also concerned about the defense and legal processes. Anyone in such a situation may wish to consult with an attorney.

Source: New York Times, “Soon, Cars May Take Away the Keys of a Drunken Driver,” Aaron M. Kessler, June 11, 2015

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