Eliminating Drunk Driving for Good
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - What if there was a way to prevent drunk driving entirely? New technology could make that a reality.
Ignition Interlock Devices are meant to prevent driving drunk. Last year in Wisconsin, more than 65-hundred IIDs were installed.
But do they work?
"These devices are so easy to get around," claimed David Woods, a repeat offender from Door County. "People just buy another car and register it under a different name, others are driving without licenses. These (IIDs) are not going to stop anybody."
"Somebody is always going to figure out a way to get around the device," said John Vose, of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving - Wisconsin office. "The IIDs continue to evolve."
But according to Vose, the ultimate solution will be a technological one.
"In the future, cars will have devices that automatically sense if the driver is over the legal limit," he said.
An agency called DADSS (Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety) is working on new technology. One prototype would require a driver put their finger on a reader before starting the car. Any reading over .08 would prohibit the vehicle from starting. Another prototype would detect a driver's BAC via infrared light spectrum.
Every car should have this technology, Vose said. "Vehicles could prohibit drivers who are drunk from starting a car, whether they have been convicted or not," Vose surmised. "That will be the day when we can put this tragic issue of drunk driving behind us."
Using technology in every vehicle is a step too far, according to some.
"It's definitely a horrendous infringement of privacy rights for motorists," said John Bowman, of the National Motorists Association. Instead, Bowman said the focus should be on the "small percentage of repeat offenders who pose chronic problems on the road."
BAC testing technology may not be popular for everyone, but Vose believes it's only a matter of time.
"Thirty years ago, if you mentioned airbags to people, they would say, 'What? Airbags?'" Vose said. "Nowadays, airbags are a part of vehicle safety."
Click for Erik's investigation on Ignition Interlock Devices: Effective Tool or Dangerous Device?