Criminal Defense LawyerLakeland, Tampa, FL

Technology To Stop Drunk Drivers Could Be Standard in New Cars

POV of a drunk driver at night, with blurry vision due to being under the influence of alcohol.

A proposed rule could have a major impact on the roads.

In Florida and across the nation, drunk driving is considered a very serious offense. Alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to make quick decisions, coordinate movements, and react appropriately in traffic, thus significantly increasing the risk of collisions. In Polk County, drivers convicted on DUI charges face license suspension, heavy fines, and possible jail time.

However, the use of technology designed to stop people from driving drunk could become more widespread in the near future. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun the process of making impaired-driving prevention technology standard in new passenger vehicles.

“Impaired driving crashes are 100% preventable – there’s simply no excuse or reason to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs,” said NHTSA acting administrator Ann Carlson.

Multiple technologies under development

The agency announced an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), which helps lay the groundwork for potential alcohol-impairment detection technology standards in new passenger vehicles when the technology becomes more advanced.

Such technology is still being developed but could include:

  • In-Car Breathalyzers: This system would be similar to ignition interlock devices currently used by DUI offenders. However, it would be built directly into the car and wouldn’t require a separate mouthpiece. There could be a sensor in the steering wheel, dashboard, or even the driver’s seat that analyzes a breath sample for alcohol content. If the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) exceeds the legal limit, the car simply won’t start.
  • Driver Monitoring Systems: This approach uses cameras and other sensors to track a driver’s alertness and potential intoxication. Cameras could monitor eye movements, gauge pupil dilation, and even track head and body sway to detect signs of impairment. Additionally, facial recognition software could be used to identify if someone unauthorized or unfit to drive is attempting to operate the vehicle.
  • Touch-based Sensors: These sensors could be integrated into areas of the car, such as the steering wheel or the push-button start system. They work by detecting alcohol levels in the driver’s sweat from the skin. If alcohol above a certain threshold is detected, the system can prevent the car from starting.

DUI charges in Florida can have serious consequences

This type of technology has the potential to prevent accidents and save lives. It can also help prevent DUI arrests.

In Florida, a DUI conviction can stay on your record for 75 years and cannot be expunged or sealed. If convicted, your license may be suspended, you will owe fines, and may even face jail time. Punishments become more severe for subsequent convictions.

That’s why you need an experienced DUI defense lawyer if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving in Lakeland, FL, or a nearby community. A DUI attorney can carefully review the evidence for any procedural errors or rights violations. For example, you may be able to challenge the accuracy of breathalyzer or blood tests or question the legality of a traffic stop if you've been charged.

Depending on your circumstances, a lawyer can also negotiate for reduced charges or penalties, or fight for a dismissal of the charges.

Contact an experienced DUI defense attorney if you've been charged

With technology advancing to combat drunk driving, the future of road safety holds promising changes. However, despite these potential advancements, DUI charges in Florida remain serious legal matters with significant consequences. If you're facing DUI charges in Lakeland or anywhere in Polk County, it's crucial to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney immediately.

Thomas C. Grajek, Attorney at Law, is dedicated to protecting your rights and fighting for the best possible outcome. From challenging evidence to negotiating reduced charges, our law firm can provide aggressive legal representation every step of the way.

There’s too much at stake to face DUI charges on your own. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving in Lakeland or anywhere in Polk County, get Grajek. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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