New technology could prevent drunk driving deaths on New York roads

Drunk driving is a serious problem in New York and throughout the rest of the country. According to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization, automobile accidents involving driver intoxication kill approximately 28 people in the U.S. every day. However, according to the New York Daily News, a new analysis reveals that installing devices in vehicles that are designed to keep drunk drivers off of the roads could prevent 85 percent of car accident fatalities in the U.S. caused by driver intoxication.

The technology's future

To determine how many lives would be saved with the implementation of interlock devices, researchers analyzed U.S. records of traffic accidents and deaths. They then estimated how many fatalities and injuries could be prevented during the first year if this technology was put in all new vehicles. They also assumed that it would take approximately 34 years for all vehicles currently in use to be replaced.

This new alcohol screening system is designed to prevent drivers from starting their vehicle with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.08. It is also different from standard ignition interlock devices because the tests take less than half of a second to complete. Additionally, this system determines a driver's BAC level through the fingertips or the breath using infrared light.

Currently, this alcohol screening tool is still under development, states the New York Daily News. Those who are working on it believe that it may not be ready for use for at least another five to eight years.

Many drive intoxicated more than once

Since these new alcohol testing systems will not be in use for at least several more years, the state of New York attempts to deter drivers from operating a vehicle intoxicated by assigning severe penalties to receiving a DWI. These consequences include fines, jail time and driver's license revocation, states the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.

Despite these penalties, many drivers still put others at risk of incurring a serious injury in an accident by driving intoxicated multiple times. The MADD organization states that approximately one-third of all convicted or arrested drunk drivers are repeat offenders. Additionally, the average drunk driver has operated a vehicle intoxicated 80 times before getting arrested for the first time.

Contact an attorney

Those who are involved in a drunk driving collision in New York may wonder how they will ever recover from the effects of the accident. If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, speak with an attorney to determine what legal steps you should take next.