Could Anti-Drink Tech be Required by Law in New Cars

One of the main contributing factors to road deaths worldwide is drunk driving. In South Africa, driving after just one drink will soon be illegal.

However, over the pond in the United States, there are new proposed laws that could prove to be quite interesting in the near future. These new laws could set the tone for drunk driving worldwide.

car tech

These new suggested laws are aimed at combating the issue of drunk driving through technology.

It has been proposed that new cars should be equipped with sensors that would identify whether a driver has been drinking. Such sensors would be able to sense alcohol levels in breath and in blood through finger-scanning.  

Carmakers and regulators have been working together since 2008 to develop this new technology.

So how does the tech work? The first development from researchers at the Driver Alcohol DetectionSystem for Safety is small sensors that would fit inside vents, which would identify if the driver has been drinking when they exhale inside the car. Another innovation is an infrared light that would be able to identify the blood alcohol levels in a driver when they press the ignition button.

If the car detects that the driver has had one too many then the car won’t start or move.

However, this new tech is being scrutinised and poses the question of what should technology be trusted to do?

There are a couple of areas of concern. The first is what if the technology is faulty and gives a false reading because of medication or mouthwash or the technology doesn’t detect anything at all even though the driver is over the limit. The other major concern is the invasion of privacy.

Even though in theUnited States, it is unconstitutional for cars to be monitored by the government, regulators over the pond could set the tone for new rules around the world. Currently, they have three years to come to a final decision.

The New Driving Laws in South Africa

South Africa will soon be under the driving system, Aarto that is set to be in full effect from July 2022. The new system works on demerit points. These points are deducted for traffic offences and infringements. 

At the moment, the actual fines and demerit points haven’t been gazetted, but according to the guidelines, if you are caught driving under the influence then a fine will be determined and up to six demerit points will be given. Drunk drivers will still face criminal punishment. Licences are suspended once a driver has 15 points.

Current Offers