Alcohol Class Could Save Fight Over DUI Technology

by: Mike Miller

Do you think it should be mandatory for anyone who is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) to have a breath monitor placed on their steering wheel? How about if they have been convicted twice? Three times?

Congress can be quite frustrating in its ineptitude and inability to quorum. It now has another big banana on its plate.

Tucked into the Senate’s transportation bill is a provision that directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to study “more widespread deployment of in-vehicle technology” that would prevent drunken driving. This as reported in Politico.

In-Car Technology

The idea is to develop some kind of nonintrusive technology based around touch or breathing that would be able to sense when a driver is drunk and disable the car. Technology on the market now — called “ignition interlocks” — require a driver to blow into a Breathalyzer device attached to the car’s dashboard and then wait 30 seconds until the sample is analyzed. Only then will the car start.

Does that sound intrusive? Not to me it doesn’t.

The research is trying to develop a “far less intrusive” technology more acceptable to the general public, which consumers eventually would be able to choose as an option on a new car — similar to picking leather seats or a sunroof. That sure might make some parents of teenagers feel more comfortable about loaning them the car on a Saturday night.

1st Time Offenders Get Steering Wheel Breathalyzer

One stipulation in the bill mandates states enact a law that requires first-time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device if they want to continue driving, if the states want about 5 percent of their regularly allocated safety money.

I, for one, think it should be mandatory for at least a year after a first offense. Plus a DUI class or alcohol awareness class. Research continues to show that for each time a driver is arrested for Dui they may have driven hundreds of other times while under the influence.