Drunk driver-proof cars? New technology could keep impaired drivers off roads

New technology is in the works could save thousands of lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working with automakers to prevent drunk drivers.
The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety has been in the works since 2008.

The system would determine if the person sitting in the driver's seat has been drinking.

There are two different ways it could work. One way would be a breath-based system with a sensor either on the steering column or on the driver's side door.

The sensor would determine the alcohol molecules from the driver's breath; passenger's breath wouldn't affect the system.

Another option is a touch-based technology on the ignition or gearshift. It would read blood alcohol below the skin's surface with infrared light.

Alcohol absorbs specific wave-lengths of light and this could be used to determine a person's alcohol content.

If the system determines the driver is above the legal limit, the car won't start.

The people behind the system hope to have it ready for production within five years and make it a part of a safety option on new cars.
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