There may be little that others can do to stop a Louisiana motorist who decides to drive after consuming alcohol. Once on the road, it is possible that the impaired driver will hit a pedestrian or drift into oncoming traffic. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently showcased technology that could prevent a car from starting if alcohol is detected on the driver's breath.
These tools are part of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, a collaborative partnership between a group of automobile manufacturers and the NHTSA. The technology uses infrared light to determine how much alcohol is in a driver's system and can take multiple readings in less than a minute. Sensors can be placed on a steering wheel and may be easier to integrate into the overall aesthetic design of the car. Regardless of their design, it may be several years before they are mandated for inclusion in vehicles by the federal government.
The American Beverage Institute has raised several concerns about such a system including the fact that alcohol may not be absorbed consistently. This could result in an individual who had several drinks in a short amount of time registering under the legal limit when attempting to start the car. If an accident were to occur or a sober driver were unable to start his or her car, a lawsuit could result.
Individuals who are injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver often face high medical expenses and a loss of income when unable to work while recovering. Victims may wish to speak with a personal injury attorney in order to determine whether a lawsuit seeking damages from the responsible party would be appropriate.