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New sobriety screening devices could lead to more

Dale Gribow April 3, 2015

Over the past few years, law enforcement has been cracking down on driving under influence. Despite their efforts, drunk driving still causes a number of road fatalities each year. However, new technology may help cut down on drunk driving related deaths in California.In the past, interlock ignition devices have been used to prevent drivers with DUIs from starting their vehicles if they have a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. Many drivers with DUIs can only get their licenses reinstated if they agree to install the device in their vehicle. This doesn’t take care of the drivers who drive without a license just to avoid installing the device.The main issue is that, as of now, it is up to the police to catch drunk drivers. This means that a lot of drunk drivers are slipping through the cracks. Experts say that by the time a driver is stopped for a DUI, he may have already made about 80 trips under the influence.New sobriety screening systems are now in the works to make it easier to stop drunk drivers. The screening tool is still in development, but once it’s ready, it could be installed in every new vehicle on the market. The new devices are easier to use and far more reliable than the devices we have now. Over a fifteen year period, older vehicles without the devices will be coming off the roads, and new vehicles with the devices may start to take over. Researchers believe that the $400 per vehicle devices could eliminate nearly $343 billion in costs from drunk driving deaths and injuries. It is also believed that these new devices could help prevent 85 percent of alcohol-related road deaths.As these new devices start getting installed, law enforcement will have more time to focus on drunk drivers on the road. Facing drunk driving charges can be a difficult time in a person’s life and the potential consequences can be devastating. However, merely being arrested for a DUI does not guarantee a conviction. Many defenses are available to help drivers avoid serious penalties.