What is the Role of Technology in Preventing Drunk Driving Accidents?

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There has been a fight against drunk driving for almost as long as cars have been around. Thousands of people are injured or killed every year because of impaired drivers despite these efforts.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 13,384 people died in completely preventable alcohol-impaired driving collisions in 2021 in the United States of America. That is about 37 people getting killed every day in our country.

We can all agree that this is unacceptable, and Congress has decided to act. New anti-drunk driving technology is being utilized in an attempt to reduce the number of drunk driving collisions and, therefore, to also reduce the number of people getting injured or killed by these impaired drivers.

A sleek digital breathalyzer with two additional mouthpieces next to it, lying on a black surface.

There is a law that has recently come to light that requires automakers to install specialized safety systems into their vehicles to prevent drunk driving accidents beginning in 2026.

According to WSFB, there is new technology ready to be all new cars by the end of 2025. These new safety features will be able to detect the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level through a sensor in the steering column and in the door.

This drunk driving deterrent technology is called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety and is being developed by KEA Technologies. If the system detects the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level to be 0.08 grams per deciliter, which is the legal limit for intoxication, the car will start, but it will not move.

This technology works similarly to the breathalyzer and ignition interlock systems, but it is integrated into the vehicle.

Another technology being developed will be able to detect the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level through their hand at the ignition.

These technologies are being researched and implemented because the government believes that the current laws and educational campaigns already in use have not been effective enough. Although they have saved many lives, people are still dying.

Other technologies that have been in use to combat drunk driving are:

  • Breathalyzers
  • Ignition Interlock Devices
  • Rideshare Networks

Ways to Prevent Drunk Driving

There are several strategies already put in place to reduce drunk driving. The two main reasons why we still have a problem with drunk drivers are:

  1.  that alcohol consumption directly impacts a person’s ability to make smart decisions and also,
  2. ignorance of the fact that driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous for everyone and not just other people.

Not Serving Alcohol to Intoxicated Individuals

According to North Carolina law, it is not legal to serve alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated. Servers of alcohol are legally allowed to refuse service to intoxicated customers and are encouraged to delay service to anyone who is drinking multiple alcoholic beverages.

Permits Are Required for the Ability to Serve Alcohol

All businesses that wish to serve alcohol on their premises must first obtain a permit. In order for an establishment to receive a permit to serve alcohol, the permittee must accept the responsibility of refusing service to an intoxicated customer.

The Alcohol Beverage Control Commission issues the permits and enforces the laws upon the permittees. They provide control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, consumption, and possession of alcoholic beverages within North Carolina.

The permit holders are responsible for educating their employees about the dangers of drunk driving and the importance of preventing customers from becoming intoxicated before driving.

Limits on Blood Alcohol Concentration

Every state has a limit on how much alcohol can be in a driver’s blood before they are considered too impaired to legally operate a motor vehicle. Currently, in North Carolina, the blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood.

Utah and many other countries have set this limit to 0.05 grams per deciliter. Anyone found driving with this amount of blood alcohol concentration is considered legally impaired and will have to face the consequences determined by the state in which they were driving.

Reduction of Access to Alcohol

Another attempt at reducing drunk driving is by making alcohol less accessible. Increased taxes make alcohol less affordable for many people in the hope that they will consume less when their wallets become affected.

There are also government regulations on how many retailers may sell alcohol in a particular location as a way to reduce alcohol outlet density. This can help prevent intoxicated customers who have been cut off at one location from walking to another nearby location in search of more alcohol.

The consumption, purchase, and sale of alcohol are also illegal for anyone under 21 years of age all across the country. North Carolina has a Zero Tolerance law against underage drivers, meaning that drivers under 21 years old are not allowed to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their systems.

Some people have argued about the fairness of these laws, but tens of thousands of lives have been saved since these laws have been implemented and enforced.

Consequences Of Drunk Driving

North Carolina has strict regulations and consequences for driving under the influence of alcohol to deter drivers from taking the chance of driving after consuming alcohol.

Driving while intoxicated is a significant offense in North Carolina, and the extent of the offense will determine the punishment.

The state applies a variety of punishments that are divided into levels 1 through 5, with accompanying fines that can range from $200 and a minimum jail time of 24 hours to thousands of dollars in fines and years in prison for more severe or repeat offenses.

Another sanction is community service. The goal of this is to encourage accountability and make offenders conscious of the harmful effects of their behavior.

Depending on the severity of the offense, a different amount of community service may be necessary.

Victims of drunk driving may also file a lawsuit with the civil court and may be entitled to punitive damages. This claim is a measure of damage beyond compensatory damages and is specifically intended to punish the drunk driver as well as discourage other people from driving while intoxicated.

Drunk driving continues to pose a severe threat to everyone’s safety. Thousands of alcohol-related collisions happen every year, causing injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injury, and even death.

Contact a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today

Our attorneys have a track record of success in working with victims of drunk drivers! If you have been involved in a collision with a drunk driver, call Tatum & Atkinson: The Heavy Hitters at (800) LAW-0804 for a free consultation.

We will ensure that you get all the compensation that you are entitled to receive.

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