New Anti-Drunk Driving Technologies

anti drunk driving technology

As a prominent sponsor for MADD New Mexico, Bert Parnall of Parnall Law has zero tolerance for drunk driving. Bert is an advocate on behalf of drunk driving victims and their families and wants to bring attention to the dangers of drunk driving in his home state. Here, the Parnall Law team discusses new technology designed to detect and prevent drunk driving and how it could make the roads safer for everyone. 

Drunk Driving Statistics in New Mexico

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone was killed in a drunk driving accident in the United States every 45 minutes in one recent year. Unfortunately, drunk driving is just as common in New Mexico as it is nationally. The following crash data from the New Mexico Department of Transportation illustrate how deadly these accidents can be:

  • In one recent year, alcohol-involved crashes made up 5.5 percent of all crashes in New Mexico, the highest percentage in a decade.
  • That year, there were 2,020 alcohol-involved crashes throughout New Mexico, resulting in 145 fatalities and 1,293 nonfatal injuries.
  • New Mexico drivers between the ages of 20 and 34 represented 54.2 percent of alcohol-impaired drivers in New Mexico drunk driving crashes that year.
  • The crash rate for New Mexico alcohol-involved drivers between the ages of 20 and 24 was three times higher than the statewide average that year.
  • Male drivers in New Mexico accounted for 70.6 percent of all alcohol-impaired drivers in drunk driving crashes that year.

What Can Be Done to Combat Drunk Driving?

These statistics are concerning, but new technologies aimed at discouraging drunk driving and preventing DUI accidents are cause for hope. Ben Ray Luján, New Mexico’s junior U.S. senator, is working to ensure that these technologies become standard requirements for new motor vehicles. 

Contact an Albuquerque Car Accident Lawyer

A drunk driver struck Senator Luján head-on in 1992. He survived, but many others in similar situations do not. Since then, Sen. Luján has worked tirelessly to encourage the federal government to adopt new anti-drunk driving technology requirements. Luján’s RIDE Act was included as part of a bipartisan infrastructure bill recently signed into law. 

The RIDE Act requires new vehicles to include some type of promising anti-drunk driving technology, such as:

  • Alcohol-sensing systems – Built-in breathalyzers or touch-based sensors in ignition buttons or gear shifts can almost instantly test drivers’ blood alcohol levels and lock certain systems if drivers are intoxicated. 
  • In-vehicle cameras – Some vehicle manufacturers plan to roll out cameras to monitor drivers discreetly and detect behaviors that indicate possible impairment.
  • Lane assist technologies – Lane assist technologies could detect when potential drunk drivers are weaving dangerously and force the car to stop.

Using Technology to Keep Families Safe

One technology that can help protect families from drunk driving is the ignition interlock device (IID). This device, which is installed in a vehicle, requires the driver to submit a breath sample before starting the engine. If alcohol is detected above a certain limit, the vehicle will not start. The IID has been proven to significantly reduce drunk driving incidents by preventing impaired individuals from operating a motor vehicle.

Another promising technology is the use of smartphone apps that can detect impairment. These apps utilize features like facial recognition and cognitive tests to assess a person’s level of sobriety. By monitoring factors such as coordination, reaction time, and decision-making abilities, these apps can provide an accurate assessment of a person’s impairment level. This technology not only acts as a deterrent but also helps individuals make responsible decisions before getting behind the wheel.

Additionally, advancements in the field of vehicle safety have contributed to preventing drunk driving incidents. Features such as lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking systems work together to enhance driver safety and reduce the risk of accidents. These technologies act as an extra set of eyes on the road, alerting the driver to potential hazards and intervening when necessary.

Driver Monitoring Systems Can Detect Signs of Impaired Driving

Driver monitoring systems, distinct from the technology mentioned above, are designed to detect signs of impaired driving and alert the driver or authorities to take appropriate action. These monitoring systems use a combination of sensors and cameras to monitor the driver’s behavior and detect signs of impairment. They can track eye movements, facial expressions, and even analyze the driver’s heart rate and body temperature. By analyzing these data points, the system can identify signs of drowsiness, distraction, or alcohol impairment.

One of the key benefits of driver monitoring systems is their ability to provide real-time feedback and intervention. If the system detects signs of impaired driving, it can issue warnings to the driver, such as audible alerts or seat vibrations, to bring their attention back to the road. In more severe cases, the system can automatically slow down the vehicle, activate emergency lights, or even call for emergency assistance.

The introduction of driver monitoring systems has the potential to significantly reduce the number of accidents caused by impaired driving. By providing immediate feedback and intervention, these systems can help prevent accidents before they happen. They serve as an additional layer of protection, acting as a virtual co-pilot that keeps an eye on the driver’s condition and helps them stay focused and alert.

Alcohol Detection Systems Use Sensors

Alcohol detection systems are another advanced technology designed to prevent drunk driving. These systems use cutting-edge sensors to detect alcohol levels in a driver’s breath or blood and provide real-time alerts if the levels exceed the legal limit. By incorporating these systems into vehicles, potential accidents caused by impaired driving can be significantly reduced.

The ignition interlock device is an example of an alcohol detection system, but, in addition to the IID are touch-based sensors. These sensors can detect alcohol in the driver’s bloodstream by simply touching the skin. This non-intrusive and quick method provides immediate results without the need for a breathalyzer or blood tests. This technology has the potential to revolutionize roadside sobriety tests and make them more efficient and accurate.

Implementing alcohol detection systems in vehicles has proven to be an effective way to mitigate the risks associated with drunk driving. By integrating these systems, law enforcement agencies and potential clients can ensure greater safety on the roads. If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving incident, it is essential to consult an experienced New Mexico accident attorney who can provide legal guidance and protect your rights.

Injured by a Drunk Driver? A Drunk Driving Accident Attorney from Parnall Law Can Help

Hurt? Call Bert. Bert Parnall and the Albuquerque drunk driving accident lawyers of Parnall Law can help you hold drunk drivers accountable and pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options in a free initial consultation session.