Can New Technology Help Drivers Avoid a Criminal Offense?

Drivers who have been charged with drunk driving may face serious penalties, which can include time in jail and loss of their driver’s license. Illinois drivers who are charged with a criminal offense related to drunk driving may be interested in a new technology that could prevent drunk driving in the future. While prototypes have not been released to the public, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hopes that these devices could reduce the number of drunk driving deaths.

It is estimated that almost 10,000 people are killed because of drunk driving every year. A device that measures blood alcohol levels could someday be available in many vehicles. These devices would potentially prevent an individual from driving if he or she has a BAC of .08 or higher.

The two prototypes that are being researched will test BAC using non-invasive methods. One method will use a certain type of light to scan the skin of the driver and determine BAC. The other method will use a Breathalyzer-type device to analyze the breath of the driver. At this point, the NHTSA does not intend to make these devices mandatory, even after research and development is complete.

As this technology will not be available for several years, Illinois drivers should note that they can be held accountable if convicted of drunk driving. When charged with a criminal offense, it is wise to protect the entitlements provided by the law by obtaining the assistance of a knowledgeable legal ally. The optimal defensive approach will differ on a case-by-case basis and will be determined by the individual circumstances.

Source:, “Could drunk driving be stopped by new technology?“, June 15, 2015