Technology is always advancing, and it’s changing the world. You may already know that, but did you know that DUI technology is advancing as well? New trends can prevent drunk driving and save you from a DUI charge.
1. Breathalyzer in a Bag
Yes, you read that correctly. In honor of the Superbowl, Tostitos created a bag of chips that doubles as a Breathalyzer. The bag has a built-in sensor and a microcontroller that can detect traces of alcohol on your breath. First, you blow into the bag. Then, if you’ve had too much to drink, LED lights on the bag turn red.
But it doesn’t stop there. You can tap the bag with your phone will automatically call Uber and get you ride home. And as great as it sounds, law enforcement urge people not to rely on a bag of chips to determine whether or not it’s safe to drive. That said, this is one new DUI technology that makes you wonder what the future has in store for us.
2. Ignition Interlock Devices
While Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) might not be new, they’re becoming more recognized for DUI prevention. The AAA in Idaho recently brought up the idea of using IIDs for all drunk driving offenders or for anyone who refuses a breathalyzer. Florida lawmakers are also pushing to make the device a requirement for all first-time offenders, regardless of their case.
One reason for the push towards required IIDs is the fact that the CDC estimates 60% – 80% of people with suspended licenses continue to drive. If the courts can’t stop them from driving, at least they can prevent them from drunk driving.
But what is an IID? It’s a device that prevents you from driving if you have alcohol in your system. First, you blow into a mouthpiece. If your breath alcohol concentration is too high, the car won’t start. If the level is under the limit, the car starts. Since 2012, all fifty states have had the option of requiring them to be installed in the vehicles of DUI offenders. But they aren’t always mandated. This push to make this DUI technology a requirement for all DUI offenders could change things.
3. Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS)
The DADSS is a program dedicated to creating technology that will eventually end drunk driving. The organization is made up of a team working on creating DUI technology that will prevent drivers from driving. There are two approaches the team is working on- a breath-based system and a touch-based system.
Unlike an Ignition Interlock Device, the breath-based system is installed permanently in the car. A little sensor registers your breath alcohol content. The touch-based system is a button that determines the concentration of alcohol in your system. Both systems are fully integrated into the car and unnoticeable to anyone else.
4. Marijuana Breathalyzer
With the legalization of marijuana in several states, police have expressed concern over driving under the influence of marijuana. Their current breathalyzers can’t determine if a driver is on an illegal (or legal) substance. Cannabix Technologies, a company from British Columbia, is working to fix that. They have been working on a breathalyzer that can determine if a person tests positive or negative for marijuana. In February 2017, they announced that they would be testing their prototype. If it’s successful, it might not be long before drivers will be at a greater risk for DUI charges.
5. Alcohol-Sensing Flashlight
You might not think of a flashlight as an example of DUI technology, but this is no ordinary flashlight. The Passive Alcohol Sensor, or the Sniffer, is a flashlight that can signal if a driver is intoxicated. The flashlight has a small sensor that pulls in air. It can detect if there’s any alcohol in the air, and gives the officer reason to believe that you may be drunk.
Although the Sniffer can’t detect the breath alcohol content, it is a very useful tool for police. It makes it much harder for offenders to sneak through DUI checkpoints. Even if you pretend to be sober, the Sniff will tip off the officer.
Can DUI Technology Help You Fight DUI Charges?
Most DUI technology helps police catch offenders or prevents drinking and driving. But can technology help you fight a DUI? It can, and it has. Now, dash cams record the interaction you have with an officer. Sometimes, you can use that footage to fight the charge. The officer’s account might it match up with the recording, or there may be some evidence that they didn’t properly perform the field sobriety test. The footage gives you a better chance to find mistakes.
Other evidence in your favor might be in the recordings between an officer and dispatch, or in an officer’s cell phone records. Every little bit of evidence can help your case. But you can’t do it alone. With a drunk driving attorney, you can use new technology to fight your charges.