New Technology Could Measure Blood Alcohol Through Steering Wheel, Door Handles

New Technology Could Measure Blood Alcohol Through Steering Wheel, Door Handles

The breathalyzer may become a thing of the past, thanks to new technology that can be installed in your car. And it’s not like you can fake your way around it, as it’s located in key components of your vehicle, like the steering wheel and door handles.

The court-ordered breathalyzers that can be used in cars now take time to work and they also need to be installed as an after-market component. With this new system, developed by a research company called QinetiQ and funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, the technology comes built-in to vehicles as they are made and are inconspicuous to the driver.

This new technology measures blood alcohol content in a driver’s finger tips with a new touch-based sensor that’s installed in the vehicle’s steering wheel or door handles. It’s super quick too, as it only takes less than a second to register the booze in a driver’s system. The technology could be available to automakers in eight to 10 years

“We believe this might turn the car into the cure for the elimination of drunk driving,” says Laura Dean-Mooney, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. But on the other side of the coin, there are those against the new technology. “For ordinary, law-abiding citizens, it’s an invasion of their privacy,” says Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party.

What do you think? Do you think this device will protect drivers or is it an invasion of privacy? Let us know in the comments section below.

[Source: Oh Gizmo]

  • Stephen

    Goes too far. It is in the same light has having everyone give DNA to “protect” the children against a sexual predator.

    Nevermind the fact that if you have any alcohol on your fingers (maybe a nurse use some rubbing alcohol to clean the skin for a shot for example, or someone at a bar (who wasn’t drinking” had beer splilled on him.).

    What this really is is two thing:

    1. Madd has gone loco with power.

    2. a company trying to “sell” something that most motorists (who don’t drive drunk), do not want to pay for on their personal car. It has to be “forced” on them.


    If you want to require this for repeat drunks that is one thing, for innocent people, NO!

  • engin AĞAÇ

    My name is Engin Agac and I am from Turkey. I learned that many companies have developed a device that prevents drunk driving. The devices look like significant but I still believe that this is not a final solution for the problem. I have prepared a project about this subject. I believe that the project that I prepared provides 100% solution.

    The important points of my project are shown below:


    1) The drunk driver can never start the car as he cannot pass the alcohol test.

    2) The device can detect the difference when the non-drunk driver changes place with a drunk driver.

    3) If the driver starts the car and begins drinking alcoholic beverages the device detects this.

    4) The driver is kept under control automatically and during every stop and run.

    5) The driver should take and pass the alcohol test every day.

    6) If the driver should be changed then the new driver should pass the alcohol test.,

    7) If any other person except the driver drinks alcoholic beverages, this will not stop the car or will not prevent the driver from starting the engine.

    8) In case the driver “must” start the car even though he is drunk, he should define himself as “drunk” to the device. The device will not question if the driver is drunk or not in this situation. By this way the device sets a maximum speed limit and the flashers are turned on. If the driver tries to exceed the speed limit the car stops and the lights continue flashing.

    Detailed Explanations for some articles above:

    Article 2) If the non-drunk driver changes place with a drunk driver then the device will detect this. For example Robert is drunk and Matthias is sober. In this situation only Matthias can start the car and Robert cannot pass the test. If Robert wants to drive while the engine is running, the device will detect that it was Matthias who started the car and will not let Robert to drive. The device will recognize that Robert has changed place and came to the driver seat. In this situation it asks the test to be taken by the new driver. If he cannot pass the test, then the car will be stopped after the warnings.

    Article 3) Example: Robert is not drunk until he starts the car but he starts drinking while driving. At this point the device will detect the smell and ask the driver to take the test again. If the driver is drunk, then the car will stop after the warnings.

    Article 4) The driver who started the engine is always under control as he should take the test at every stop and run. The device checks the driver change at every stop and run, while the car is started. If one driver passes the test and start the car, and if he wants to change the seat to someone else after a while, the device checks if someone else has come to the driver seat. This control will be done at every stop and run. But if it is requested, this can be applied at certain time periods through the settings of the device.

    Article 5) In this project the driver must take the alcohol test every day.

    But if we develop the software we can achieve something like this:

    1) If a driver never drinks alcohol and a driver change will never be done, the driver may take the test only once a year, once in ten years or he may not take the test during his whole lifetime. This driver needs to take the test only once. But this article makes it necessary for the driver to take the test if someone else but the driver drinks alcohol in the vehicle.

    2) Let’s think of a family consisting of father, mother, two sons and one daughter. One of the sons drink alcohol frequently but the other drinks only on new years. Father, mother and the daughter never drink alcohol and this family owns a car. How does the device works in this case? Should the alcohol test be taken every day? No, it is not. The device can recognize the members of the family. This means that the device cen keep in its memory who is a drinker and who is a non-drinker. The device can also detect that the person who did not drink alcohol for a long time is now drunk and it notifies the driver that the test should be taken. Thanks to the software that has been developed, father-mother and the daughter should take the test only once and they do not need to take the test again during their lifetime. While the father, mother or the daughter drives the car, someone else in the vehicle should not drink alcoholic beverages. Otherwise they need to take the alcohol test. This situation does not prevent the car from running or does not stop the running car.

    Article 6) A driver change can only be done when the engine is stopped. The new driver should pass the test before starting the car. The driver change cannot be applied after the engine is started.

    Article 7) Let’s say there are 4 people in the car (One driver and three passengers). The driver is sober and did not drink any alcoholic beverages. Even though the passengers are drinking, the alcohol smell will not prevent the car from starting nor the engine will not be stopped.

    – For the car to be stopped:
    * As the alcohol smell is detected, the driver is asked to take the test.
    ** The driver must take this test. Otherwise the car speed will be decreased and it will be stopped after the warnings.
    *** If the driver is drunk as he takes the test, the car speed will be decreased and it will be stopped after the warnings again.
    **** The device always warns the driver before stopping the car. If the driver denies the warnings then the car will be stopped.

    The software scheme of this device is already prepared. Alcoholmeter and smell sensors are the components of this device. But the important point is that a software to achieve these functions. As the scheme is already done, the software needs to be written by your company.


    To prevent driving without driving license can be achieved only if the driver licenses are renewed so that it can interact with the device that is to be installed in the car.

    1) A person without the driving license can never start the car.

    2) A person without the driving license can never drive a car in motion.

    3) If the driver wants to change place with another driver without a license, this will be detected by the device and the car will be stopped if the warning is ignored.

    4) The driver will be kept under control every second and he can never drive the car without the license.

    5) The driver should take the driving license test once a day.

    6) One driver can never use someone else’s license.

    7) If a driver change is needed, then the new driver should take the test.

    8) At every getting on and off a control is not applied. The test is only applied in case of a driver change.

    As you know I am not a mechanical technician or engineer and I cannot explain the details of my project by using scientific terms. But I can describe all details of my project.

    Although alcoholmeter and smell sensors will be used in this project, not only these two devices will be functioning. The most important characteristic that differs my project from the others is that this device will be software assisted. I mean each article describing the features of the project will be assisted by a software.

    My aim is to offer you the patent of this project to your company. If you are interested you can also contact me online, by phone or come to Istanbul and I can explain this project to you personally.

    Detailed explanation and software schemes for both projects are available.

    I will be expecting your soonest reply if you are interested in my projects.

    Kind Regards,
    Engin AGAC

  • Barbeee2415

    This technology has been around for at least 10 years now and it’s a injustice to americans that it has not been available and still isn’t…. Not only will this prevent drunk driving accidents it will do away with dui’s as a whole and drasticly reduce the stress on the court system and lower insurance premiums.  Which is exactly why there is resistance to having this readily available to americans the amount of money that would be lost to the courts and county’s could throw alot of them into bankruptcy.  The average cost of a dui is over $5,000.00 per person not to mention the cost of the prisons and the rehabs. There is something drasticlly wrong with our government when they put their financial gain over the lives of the american people…… 

  • BassFreak

    Invasion of privacy?! Driving is a right, not a privilege, PLUS, it’s not like the information would be transmitted to anyone outside your car, like the police department. This would be a god send! Imagine the lives saved and the lower insurance rates!