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New Tech to Test BAC In All New Cars

Drunk driving accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence in Texas and across the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports there were 10,142 deaths due to drunk driving nationwide in a recent year, while the Texas Department of Transportation says 914 people died in drunk driving crashes statewide that same year.

Given how many people are killed or injured in drunk driving accidents every year, it’s no wonder that authorities would look for solutions to combat this problem. There’s a new provision in an infrastructure bill currently being debated in the U.S. Senate that, within a few years, would require all new cars to be equipped with technology to detect if a driver is above the BAC limit. 

What New Technology is Used to Combat Drunk Driving?

The provision in the Senate infrastructure bill is similar to a prior plan. Both projects would require new cars to be equipped with systems to detect if a motorist is too drunk to drive. Some of the technologies currently being considered are:

  • In-car breath detectors — A company called SenseAir is working on a system that measures the alcohol content in a driver’s breath, similar to a Breathalyzer. However, unlike a Breathalyzer, SenseAir’s system works passively and would not require the driver to breathe deeply into a specific device. Instead, sensors in the vehicle monitor the driver’s breath as they breathe normally, measuring the number of alcohol and carbon dioxide molecules. If the system senses that a driver is above the legal limit, it won’t allow the driver to start the vehicle.
  • Touch-based sensors — By shining a light on a driver’s finger as they touch the steering wheel, this technology measures the alcohol content in a driver’s blood by using a scientific technique known as spectroscopy to look at the capillaries in the driver’s finger. Alcohol shows up in two specific wavelengths of light, so if the sensor detects these wavelengths, it can prevent the driver from starting the vehicle.

How New Technology Can Increase Safety

Currently, ignition interlock devices and other measures can prevent drivers from starting a car if they’re drunk, but only after they have already been found guilty of driving while impaired. Ignition interlock devices are punitive measures, while the passive technologies listed above are preventative measures that would hopefully stop a drunk driver from hurting anyone. Therefore, these new technologies offer a more proactive approach to keeping everyone on the roads safe.

Injured By a Drunk Driver? Call Tate Law Today

If an intoxicated driver injured you, the Dallas car accident lawyers at Tate Law Offices, P.C. have the skills and experience necessary to hold them accountable for the harm you’ve suffered. Our Dallas car crash attorneys are ready to fight for you and the compensation you deserve. Call us or fill our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options today. 


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