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Automatic alcohol test for cars

By Tara Baukus Mello · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

Drinking alcohol will undoubtedly be part of the festivities for many Americans celebrating the Fourth of July, and many revelers will be driving their cars home from fireworks and other festivities Wednesday. Drunk driving is a big concern on Independence Day as well as on many other holidays. While alcohol test strips and car breathalyzer devices to help prevent drunk driving are widely available, they all rely on the driver to test their alcohol levels, but that is about to change.

Recently, automotive safety company Autoliv announced that it has developed a breathalyzer device that will automatically take a reading when the driver gets in the car. Autoliv CEO Jan Carlson described the device to auto industry magazine Automotive News as seamless and said, "You should not notice the car has an alcohol detection device in it."

The device is currently in the testing phase, and Autoliv expects it will be on the market in five years. Autoliv sees parents of teens as a large market of the device. In the U.S., a person is injured in a drunk driving crash almost every 90 seconds, and about one-third of all car crashes with teen drivers are alcohol-related, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Car insurance rates for teen drivers are typically higher than they are for other age groups because of their increased risk of a car crash.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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26 Comments
dtn
July 06, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Let's get a jammer so you can't text while your car is running. How about a cattle prod built into the seat that zaps you if you speed? Or maybe a cop in every car so they arrest you when you pass gas. 1984 has come and gone but Big Brother is getting bigger and stronger every day. The drunks are just one category of many that should be taken off the road!

Stoney
July 06, 2012 at 4:14 pm

There is NO device that will work 100% of the time - and the tougher they make it, the more "ingenious" people will get to circumvent this 'system'...just as they have with the device into which they must blow to start the vehicle.
What will work is a prison JUST for DUI convicts. At least then, all of them will share the one common fault that leads to these collisions (they're NOT accidents - that implies some random act of fate...these collisions are CAUSED by stupidity, selfishness and NO fear of law.

wsj
July 06, 2012 at 3:44 pm

With that out of the way, please don't drink and drive.

wsj
July 06, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Shawn G,

"If its going to save lives and prevent drunk driving then its a good idea."

- Please place a comma between "it" and the letter s in both uses of "its."

"Cell phone user statistics are up there too with causing accidents, people don't need to be driving drunk period as well as texting while driving or even talking on there cells while driving its called a distraction!"

- You need to replace "there" with "their." Also, this appears to fit the criteria for a run-on sentence.

"By the way some of you can't spell or even construct a sentence properly, I guess that explains all of the ignorant comments made."

- You need to replace the comma with a semi-colon.

"My heart goes out to the people who have lost loved ones I am sorry for your loss."

- You really need to separate this sentence with punctuation or reformat it.

Always remember that a good spelling/grammar Nazi must strive to make no mistakes before calling out others.

Shawn G
July 06, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Great idea I'm all for it! I don't understand why anyone would have an issue with this device?! If its going to save lives and prevent drunk driving then its a good idea. Many of the comments I have read on here are ludicrous as well as crass. It sounds like to me that many of you are alcoholics and just want to make excuses to drive drunk!If it automatically tests the driver that would be sober I don't think you have anything to worry about. I wish they would invent a device that cuts out cells phones when driving too! Cell phone user statistics are up there too with causing accidents, people don't need to be driving drunk period as well as texting while driving or even talking on there cells while driving its called a distraction! Duh! So I hope this goes through I have lost many people to alcohol and drunks so F off if you have a problem with it! Some of you people are just stuck on stupid. By the way some of you can't spell or even construct a sentence properly, I guess that explains all of the ignorant comments made. My heart goes out to the people who have lost loved ones I am sorry for your loss.