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Can Technology Prevent Drunk Driving Accidents?

Drunk drivers continue to cause too many accidents on Florida’s roads and highways. Fortunately, our own Senator Rick Scott has some innovative ideas for using technology to combat the problem. He has introduced legislation called the RIDE Act, which stands for Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone. This law would mandate that car manufacturers install technology to help combat drunk drivers.

Much of the technology already exists. Indeed, some manufacturers already offer the technology as an optional add-on. Now, the goal is to make the systems mandatory in new automobiles so that more drunk drivers can be kept off the roads—and more lives can be saved. As Miami drunk driving accident lawyers, we fully support all efforts to make our roads safer.

Beyond Ignition Interlock Devices

If a person is convicted for drunk driving in Florida, they might have to install an ignition interlock device, called an IID. This system is easy to understand—a person must blow into a mouthpiece and have a breath alcohol concentration below a certain threshold before the vehicle will start. These devices have been shown to reduce the incidence of drunk driving.

However, manufacturers are coming up with more sophisticated systems. In particular, the federal government has partnered with the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety to devise the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, or DADSS. They currently are exploring two methods. One is a breath-based system that measures the ambient air in the driver’s seat to detect alcohol. The other is a touch-based system that uses infrared light to detect alcohol whenever the driver touches controls or the steering wheel.

Other systems will use cameras and sensors to detect whether the driver is impaired. Volvo has already announced that it will install this system in cars going forward.

Slow Introduction

To reap the greatest benefit, these systems must be mandatory, otherwise consumers probably will not pay for them. We saw something similar with air bags, which were made mandatory to speed up their spread through the market.

However, people drive cars for years. This means that even if these detection systems are introduced into new fleets, it will be a decade or more before these systems exist in most cars on the road. Nevertheless, it is important technology to pursue.

Contact Our Miami Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

If you call 305-371-2692, you can schedule a free consultation with an attorney at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP. Our lawyers have helped many victims of drunk driving get compensation to pay for medical care and property damage, as well as replace their lost income. Please avoid delay.