As a DUI Lawyer in Orange County, I try to keep ahead of developments in breath and blood testing. But technology from the automotive world might be a game changer as far as how DUI s might be handled, or prevented, in the future.
Several automotive manufacturers have been meeting with, partnering with, and developing experimental technology to detect alcohol, including alcohol emitted from the skin in sweat through the steering wheel, or from the breath.
In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a 5-year campaign to develop ignition interlocks as standard equipment in all vehicles. NHTSA and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety—which is funded by auto manufacturers—have budgeted $10 million to solicit research and development on the widespread use of this in-vehicle technology.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has asked Congress for another $60 million to be allotted annually for alcohol detector development. So there is big money behind this.
The group opposing this? It’s the American Beverage Institute, which fears this would prevent people from going out for even one drink. Of course, as my fellow Orange County DUI Lawyers know, a machine is only as accurate as the maintenance, calibration and margin of error for the device allows it to be, assuming no deviations from standards. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say, and in this case, a false positive or machine malfunction could have serious consequences to the driver. The Beverage Institute’s newsroom is here at: http://abionline.org/newsroom.cfm?t=inthenews
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- Fight brews over DUI technology (politico.com)