All U.S. Cars to Have Ignition Interlock Devices?

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on November 20th, 2006

Coming soon to a car dealer near you…


New Tech Push Against Drunk Driving

MADD seeks spread of ignition interlocks that prevent driving
with high blood alcohol levels

CBS, Nov. 20. You have a few drinks, climb behind the wheel of your car, turn the key and — nothing. The engine doesn’t turn over, the car doesn’t move.

If Mothers Against Drunk Driving has its way, a device that checks a driver’s alcohol levels will be mandatory in cars owned by anyone ever convicted of drunk driving, and, eventually, every automobile…(Emphasis added.)

There are nearly 1.5 million drunken driving arrests last year, but only 100,000 ignition interlocks are currently in use, so even tagging first offenders isn’t really enough, says MADD…

"There are going to be different types of technology, such as trans-dermal detection that will have sensors to detect the blood alcohol level of an individual before he starts the car, so it doesn’t allow the car to start," said (MADD President Glynn) Birch.

Another system has a Breathalyzer tube that the driver must blow into before starting the car, The (New York) Times reports. A third detects that a car is weaving down the road, and possible driven by an impaired driver.

"Biometric detection or identification will work like a thumbprint to identify and also give us an idea of who the driver is," Birch said.

Those systems might eventually test all drivers, whether or not they have ever been convicted of drunken driving…


The New York Times reports that "
Two companies have introduced products that hint at future strategies. Saab, which is owned by General Motors, is testing in Sweden a Breathalyzer that attaches to a key chain and will prevent a car from starting if it senses too much alcohol…" (Note: Toyota and Nissan have already announced tentative plans to develop and install IIDs as standard equipment in future models.)


(Thanks to David R. Teddy and Lenny Stamm)

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  • Danny

    If they do it to anyone it better be to everyone.  Just because someone was caught does not mean they are the only ones drinking and driving.  It is common in law enforcement, lawyers, judges, congressmen and women (just about everyone that makes or enforces laws), teachers coaches, you name it.  If they are going to have it at all it should be on every vehicle made including cars boats motorcycles planes etc.  You may not target someone when everyone is prone to do it.  Remember a "new" dui driver happens every single day(probable several).

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