Federal Funds Could Help Prevent San Antonio DUI Accidents

by Cesar Perez on 07/25/2012

Congress recently approved a transportation funding bill that would include funding for research into in-vehicle alcohol detection technology.  Eventually, such a device could be standard on all automobiles, dramatically reducing the risks of alcohol-related accidents.

The federal transportation bill will include funds of $5 million to be spent over a period of 2 years.  The American Beverage Institute representing the restaurant industry had been strongly opposed to including that funding in the bill. 

Since 2008, researchers at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have been working together with automakers to research technology that would detect alcohol in a person’s system.  The challenge has been to develop a device that can measure the alcohol noninvasively.  The device is called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety. 

Researchers are looking at the use of sensors that could detect by just a touch, the amount of alcohol that a person has in the system, and shut down the ignition if his alcohol levels are higher than a certain predetermined limit.  The sensors would be placed in strategic positions, like the steering wheel.

The researchers are also experimenting with a system in which there would be multiple sensors in the cabin that would detect the amount of alcohol on a motorist's breath.  A device like this will unobtrusively measure a motorist’s alcohol levels, dramatically reducing his ability to drive if impaired.

The researchers’ efforts have been praised by groups like Mothers against Drunk Driving andSan Antonio car accident lawyer groups, who believe that such technology will help dramatically reduce the number of alcohol-related car accidents that occur in the southeast Texas region every year.

Tags: San Antonio, Drunk Driving

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