The headline may be alarming, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) may be calling for an ignition interlock-like device in every car.
In 2012, US highway deaths have increased for the first time since 2005, reports The Verge. This has led the NHTSA to call for research to develop safety systems that can help bring this number down.
While the technology does not yet exist, the NHTSA envisions a new alcohol-detection system similar to an ignition interlock device being placed in every car. The system will be like an ignition interlock device in that if it detects alcohol, the driver will be unable to start the engine and drive. However, the NHTSA would like the system to differ from an ignition interlock system in that it would not be obtrusive. For example, the system may work simply by detecting alcohol when the driver places his hands on the steering wheel. So if you are not intoxicated, the system will not burden you at all.
Along with new alcohol detection technology, the NHTSA would also like more cars to be equipped with already-existing technology like collision detection systems. Typically installed in high-end cars, these systems can alert the driver to potential accidents.
In Washington, lawmakers have been battling the difficulty of enforcing existing ignition interlock requirements. After an individual is ordered to install such a device, it can be difficult for authorities to ensure that the driver complies or simply doesn't drive a different vehicle. The NHTSA's proposed solution could help battle this problem.
Drunk driving laws are a hot topic of debate in Washington and across the United States. If you have a question about a DUI in the Seattle or King County areas, contact an attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense by calling us at 425-284-2000.