New technology could stop drunk drivers from driving

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — New efforts to stop drunk drivers from driving could happen soon. The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for the installation of alcohol-impairment detection systems in all new vehicles within the next three years.

The push comes after an investigation into a DUI crash in California last year that killed nine people, including seven children. The tragic crash led the National Transportation Safety Board to push the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to install alcohol impairment detection devices in new cars within the next few years.

“Technology could have prevented this heartbreaking crash — just as it could have prevented the tens of thousands of impaired driving and speeding-related injuries we see in the U.S. every year,” said Jennifer Homendi, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. death in a car accident.” “We need to immediately implement our existing technology to save lives.”​

The National Transportation Safety Board has proposed two forms of alcohol impairment detection systems. One is a breathing-based system. According to the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, instead of the traditional breathalyzers that might be available at traffic stops, the system measures a driver’s normal breathing while driving. The other is a touch-based system that uses infrared light to illuminate the driver’s skin and test their blood alcohol levels. The Driver Safety Alcohol Detection System states that this will be installed on the car’s steering wheel or the starter button.

Visualization of how breath- and touch-based alcohol disorder detection systems work in cars. Credit: Driver Alcohol Detection Safety System.

The NTSB recommendation will not go into effect until the National Highway Safety Administration finalizes the decision.

“The only acceptable number of impaired driving incidents is zero,” the National Highway Safety Administration said in a statement. “The agency has begun work to meet the bipartisan Infrastructure Act’s rules on advanced impaired driving technology for vehicles. requirements.”

In Virginia, one in six people is expected to have a DUI accident in their lifetime, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Last January, mother Staci Barksdale lost her 23-year-old daughter Jordan Barksdale in a DUI accident in Chesterfield County. Jordan Barksdale was hit head-on by 23-year-old Kaileen Sting, who was drinking that day.Officials told 8News that Stine was using her phone while driving. Stine was charged with DUI and manslaughter.

Since then, Barksdale has continued to mourn the loss of his only daughter, while urging others to use their judgment before driving. She is far from the only mother facing a similar loss. Mothers who oppose drink-driving have also recently backed the proposed mandate.

“It’s disheartening to see the crisis on our roads. The death toll is at historic levels due to impaired driving, speeding and not using seat belts when we know there is technology to stop it,” Mother Against Drunk Driving said in a statement. “Mothers who oppose DUI thank the National Transportation Safety Board for supporting this technological mission and for supporting this choice. This is one step closer to zero deaths from DUI or DUI.”

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