So, last week we posed this question — should every commercial vehicle be required to have an ignition interlock? And two weeks ago we highlighted an interesting French law that required people to have portable breathalyzer devices in their vehicles to allow them to test their BAC before driving. These posts have led us to an even more encompassing question — “What if every manufactured vehicle came equipped with some sort of alcohol analyzer?”

For example, Sober Steering  is a company that has created an alcohol sensor that attaches to a driver’s steering wheel. All a driver has to do is place an ungloved hand on the transdermal (through the skin) sensor pad for three seconds. The sensor is then capable of registering the driver’s blood alcohol level. If above a certain pre-set limit, the vehicle will become immobilized. If the driver is below the limit, the vehicle will start and, once started, will alert the driver periodically to place his hand on the alcohol sensors to confirm he hasn’t started drinking while driving.

Sober Steering’s Chief Operation Officer Catherine Carroll says, “Technology exists to solve the problem of drunk driving. “We just need to raise awareness.” One of the attractive features of Sober Steering’s technology is that it’s non-evasive, meaning that it doesn’t require drivers to change their typical driving behavior. The transdermal sensors are virtually undetectable and all the driver is required to do is touch the alcohol sensors.

Sober Steering’s also looking to lobby for premium insurance discounts on vehicles that have the alcohol sensors installed.

The goal is for these devices to one day be as commonplace as air bags. Right now the technology is only available in Canada and is being unrolled in phases, currently being installed in school busses. So, the question arises. What do you think about this technology? Would you be open to such alcohol sensors since it’s not noticeable and doesn’t require you to change the way you drive? Feel free to share your feelings on this in on Comment section.

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