In the fight against drinking and driving, law enforcement and safety regulators are continuously working to implement new methods to prevent and prosecute DUI incidents. The foundation of many of these new measures is technological advancements. As a California driver, it’s vital to understand what and how technology may be used against you if you are ever charged with a driving under the influence crime.
Before discussing the technological advances to prosecute and prevent DUI charges, let’s look at the current technology:
The standard method of determining whether a driver is over the legal limit to drive is a breath test. Breathalyzer tests measure the amount of alcohol in a driver’s breath. This type of device requires a driver to breath into a tube to provide a breath sample. The breath sample is analyzed to measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level. These tests are the foundation of any prosecutor’s case and are `admissible in court.
Blood tests are considered more reliable than breath tests. A blood sample is drawn from the driver before it’s tested for alcohol levels. There are some problems with DUI blood samples. To be accurate, they must be drawn, handled and stored correctly. Any improper storage, mishandling or testing of the blood samples may cause them and their results to be unusable.
Ignition Interlock Device
Around the country, ignition interlock devices are installed on vehicles to prohibit DUI offenders from drinking and driving. The device requires a driver to blow into a tube. The vehicle’s engine will start when no alcohol is present. If alcohol is present in the sample, the vehicle will not start. In addition, the driver is required to give a breath sample during periods while the vehicle is in operation.
Let’s take a look at the new technology being used to combat and prosecute DUI cases:
Poland recently released study findings that showed positive results using laser lights to detect alcohol in vehicle. The laser is placed on the side of the road without any police officer having to be present to operate it. As drivers are traveling, the laser beams into the vehicle’s cabin to detect alcohol levels in the air. The data results would be sent to a police officer sitting in their cruiser. Based on the results, the officer would pull over any alleged drunk driver on suspicion of DUI.
Flashlights that can Detect Alcohol
This technology was actually implemented in Illinois. There are special flashlights that have sensors. These sensors detect alcohol on a driver’s breath. All a police officer would have to do is stand about one foot away from the driver to use the flashlight. Currently the results are not admissible as evidence at trial. Officers can only use the results to determine if he or she should conduct field sobriety tests on the driver.
Anti-DUI Device Used in New Vehicles
There is new technology being tested that attempts to prevent driving and driving before it happens. Concept vehicles have sensors installed in their cabins to detect a driver’s blood alcohol concentration. If the sensors detect a BAC at or more than 0.08 percent, it would not start. In fact, the technology has become so advance one system can test a driver’s breath via the steering wheel. The system uses a touch-sensitive senor located in the steering wheel that has an infrared light. Other types of devices test a driver’s breath using reclaimed air in the cabin.
If you are accused of DUI, talk with attorney Jonathan Franklin. Regardless of the new technology used, he will aggressively fight you for you.