Technology could soon end the drink driving temptation, cars in the future will refuse to start if the driver has exceeded the drink drive limit.
Car consortium develop alcohol detection system
Ford, GM and Volkswagen have been working with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop an alcohol detection system for cars that will prevent motorists from driving who are over the legal limit.
A prototype car has been fitted with the new technology and tests are proving successful.
Driver alcohol detection system for safety
The new system has a wheel mounted breathalyser and an engine start button that detects blood alcohol level via an infrared light, both operate as passive systems.
It all works when the driver sits at the wheel, when breathing normally and pressing a button or holding the wheel the system will detect if the driver is over the limit and will refuse to start the car.
This advanced technology could bring enormous potential to save lives.
Option for new cars in the next five years
The US have not pushed for this new technology to be compulsory but is looking for the technology to be an option for new cars within the next five years.
The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety would prevent drunk driving in the ever increasing over the limit teen drivers plus commercial fleets and if it was made an option available to vehicle owners it would provide a powerful new tool in the battle against drunk driving deaths.
Alcohol related accidents in the US account for more than 10,000 deaths per year.
The accidents in the UK are much lower, estimated at approximately two hundred and thirty people killed per year due to drink driving incidents. It is probable that most of these deaths wouldn't occur if this new system was in place.
An alcohol detecting engine start button could become standard within commercial vehicles quite quickly due to safety and insurance incentives but bringing this technology to private vehicles is likely to take much longer.
Hopefully it will be new technology that does arrive sooner rather then later.