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Alcohol Sensors in Vehicles May Become Mandatory in the Future

In certain cases in which a person is convicted of DUI, the courts will order the person to install an ignition interlock device in their car. Typically, the courts will issue such orders in cases involving repeat offenders. The proponents of such devices typically argue that while their installation infringes on certain liberties, it is necessary to do so to mitigate the risk of harm the person poses to other members of society. In recent years, though, various parties throughout the country have pushed for the installation of alcohol sensing devices in all vehicles. While such efforts have yet to be successful, should such technology be mandatory in cars in the future, it may have a significant impact on driver’s rights and the prosecution of DUI cases. If you are accused of a DUI crime in Illinois, it is prudent to consult an Illinois DUI defense lawyer regarding your options for seeking a favorable outcome.

Built-In Alcohol Sensing Technology

It is alleged that researchers recently stated they had created alcohol detection sensors that would essentially eliminatedrunk driving. While the technology is still in developmental stages, it is anticipated that it will be ready to be installed in vehicles throughout the country in a few years. The developers are currently in the process of licensing the sensors. Meanwhile, legislation that would make the installation of alcohol sensors mandatory in all new passenger vehicles is before Congress.

Reportedly, the technology, which was developed by a Boston company, collects measurements with little human interaction. One device captures a driver’s breath and pulls it into a sensor, where a beam of light then calculates the driver’s blood alcohol concentration. A second device employs lasers to read the alcohol level below the surface of the skin on the driver’s finger. If the driver’s blood-alcohol level exceeds the legal limit, they will not be able to drive.

The Hazards of Alcohol Sensors in Vehicles

While people generally support measures that diminish the risk of harm caused by driving while intoxicated, there are hazards associated with the installation of alcohol sensing technology in all vehicles. For example, there is a substantial risk that the sensors could detect false levels in instances in which a driver recently ate or drank certain non-alcoholic products. Further, it is not clear how the sensors will distinguish between the blood alcohol concentration of the driver and other parties in the vehicle. Inaccurate readings could render motorists unable to drive their cars, exposing them to risks of harm from other sources.

It is also unclear how such sensors will be calibrated or how the manufacturers will ensure their accuracy. The use of alcohol sensing technology in new vehicles would likely result in a disparity of treatment of people with older and newer cars as well, as older vehicles would not have such technology.

Speak to an Experienced Illinois DUI Defense Attorney

If you are accused of a DUI crime, it is in your best interest to speak with an Illinois DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin, of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is an experienced DUI defense attorney with the skills and resources needed to help you protect your interests, and if you hire him, he will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can contact Mr. Harvatin via the form online or at 217.525.0520 to set up a meeting.

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