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Alcohol Interlock System Could Reduce Drunk Driving Accidents

Emaan Elahi2 years ago

According to Reuters, a new study has found that installations of alcohol ignition interlocks could prevent as much as prevent 85 percent of all alcohol-related traffic deaths in the United States.

About the New Study

According to the study by the American Journal of Public Health, sobriety tests could prevent more than 59,000 crash fatalities, 1.25 million non-fatal injuries, and over $340 billion in injury-related costs over a fifteen year period.

To determine how many accidents and injuries could be prevented Dr. Patrick Carter, an emergency physician with the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, and his team used U.S records of traffic accidents and fatalities. They then estimated the number of accidents that could have been prevented had the cars been fitted new with alcohol interlock devices that detect blood-alcohol levels and prevent drivers from starting the car if it is determined that the driver is intoxicated.

Further, they found that at an average interlock installation cost of $400 per vehicle would pay for itself within about three years.

Dr. Bud Zaouk is developing the technology which is known as the driver alcohol detection system for safety (DADSS). Unlike current devices that require a driver to blow into a breathalyzer, DADSS uses infrared light to measure a driver’s alcohol content, taking less than half a second to taking a reading.

This system would prevent the car from moving if the driver has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or greater which is the legal limit in all 50 states. It could also be set to zero for drivers under the legal drinking age.

Texas Drunk Driving Statistics                            

The following information was provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):

  • Texas led the country in drunk driving fatalities in 2013 with 1,337 deaths recorded for the year.
  • This accounted for 39.5-percent of all traffic deaths recorded for the year and marked an increase of 3.6-percent from 2012.
  • There were an additional 15,687 drunk driving related injuries.


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