Alcohol-Detection Systems Could Prevent More Than a Fourth of U.S. Road Fatalities

This brief article updates readers on the use of alcohol detection systems in vehicles, a technology that could address the persistent issue of drunk driving. The author describes systems that can be installed in a vehicle to detect the percentage of alcohol in the driver’s blood and then prevent the vehicle from moving if the blood alcohol levels are above a certain amount. The article covers already-available technology, such as the alcohol ignition interlock systems, and potential new technologies that measure the driver’s blood alcohol content by measuring the ambient air in the vehicle. A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) examined the potential impact of these different options, applying risk calculations for drunk driving. The study found that an average of 9,409 lives could be saved every year if the most impaired drivers (blood alcohol levels reduced to 0.08%) were prevented from driving. The article outlines the different benefits of applying these alcohol-detection systems in various ways – for example, only for drivers who had been previously arrested for drunk driving, or only in commercial and government vehicles, or only in vehicle fleets. A final section considers strategies to implement this type of technology, either through legislation or voluntary commitments on the part of vehicle manufacturers.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Photos; References;
  • Pagination: p 6
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01758637
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 15 2020 3:18PM