Alcohol Detection System Being Developed to Promote Safe Driving

QinetiQ North America, a research and development company based in Waltham, is developing a system that can sense a driver’s blood alcohol level and prevent the car from moving if the driver’s alcohol content is at or above the .08 legal limit. The system, the Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety, will use sensors on the steering wheel and door locks to determine the driver’s blood alcohol level via skin contact.

David Strickland, the director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said that the technology could prevent as many as 9,000 fatal alcohol-related crashes a year in the United States. In 2008 alone, 42% of Massachusetts driving fatalities were the result of drinking and driving. Alcohol-related accidents continue to plague the state.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently visited the Waltham facility for a public demonstration of the system, during which the system was tested and displayed. Strickland, who was also at the demonstration, said that although the device is in the early stages of development and that it will not be available for another few years, he emphasized that it will not be released until it is “seamless, unobtrusive and unfailingly accurate.” LaHood said that the alcohol detection system is “another arrow in our automotive safety quiver,” as it is envisioned to deter drinking and driving for the future.

Our experienced lawyers represent clients throughout Massachusetts who have been in alcohol-related accidents. If you have a question in regards to a case and would like a free consultation, please feel free to contact us.


In Future, Cars Might Decide If Driver Is Drunk,National Public Radio, The Associated Press, January 29, 2011
The Massachusetts car accident lawyers at Altman & Altman can advise you if you have been injured on the road.

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