Can Technology Eliminate Drunk Driving Accidents?


April 02, 2011

Drunk driving continues to be a leading cause of auto accidents resulting in almost 11,000 motor vehicle fatalities annually or one every fifty minutes. The economic toll of drunk driving accidents is also high as it has been estimated that drunk driving costs the average American $500 per year. While increased DUI sentences, more aggressive enforcement of DUI laws and other legal measures have helped reduce DUI rates, these laws do little to prevent drunk driving by habitual offenders.

According to one study, an average drunk driver has driven drunk 87 times before a first arrest.

A new technological innovation unveiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers new hope that perhaps one day technology will succeed where the law has not. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland recently took a first look at a new Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) technology being developed to prevent alcohol-impaired drivers from operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injury or wrongful death in drunk driving accidents throughout the Atlanta area and all of Georgia for over 27 years. We hope that this new technology can help reduce the number of alcohol-related car accidents, especially those involving drivers that are habitual offenders.

Approximately one-third of all people convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders. The risk of death for drivers in single-vehicle crashes with a high BAC is 385 times that of a driver who has not been drinking. Drunk drivers who are repeat offenders typically have a high blood alcohol level when arrested, and the average BAC among fatally injured drinking drivers is .16. NHTSA research shows that drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents are eight times more likely to have had a prior conviction for DUI than drivers who had no alcohol in their bodies at the time of an accident.

While the technology is still being developed, it is hoped that eventually DADSS will prevent drunk drivers from being able to drive their car if their BAC is at or above the legal intoxication limit (.08 BAC or higher). The technology could be installed as an option for new cars. One version under development determines the blood alcohol concentration through a touch-based approach while the other uses a breath-based approach.

It is an unfortunate reality that for many habitual drunk drivers nothing less than technology making it impossible to operate a vehicle when under the influence of alcohol will be effective at preventing them from driving while intoxicated. Hopefully, this technology will one day be able to save lives and preclude the total preventable injuries that result from drunk driving related auto accidents. Our experienced Georgia drunk driving accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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