Built-In Car Device to Prevent Drunk Driving Could Become Standard Soon

teen drinking driving car

A built-in device called an ignition interlock that prevents drunk driving could become standard equipment in new cars as early as next year, according to The Washington Post.

Ignition interlocks are in widespread use for people charged with or convicted of drunk driving, the article notes. These existing devices are very difficult to use. They require a person to provide a very large volume of breath from the depths of the lungs.

The government has been funding research and development of a universal ignition interlock for all vehicles. The device would be built into the car, and would measure a driver’s blood alcohol level to verify if the person could legally drive a vehicle. If not, the interlock would prevent the vehicle from starting.

The device would measure blood alcohol levels either through a breath-based system that is much easier to use than existing devices, or a touch-based system. The public-private partnership that is developing the ignition interlock, called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, says the device will be ready for use in commercial fleets in 2020.

How to Address Underage Drinking

Alcohol is the most widely used substance among America’s teens and young adults, posing substantial health and safety risks. Believe it or not, the average age for a first drink is 14.