It's no surprise that a significant cause of death in America is from drinking. 10,322 people in the U.S. were killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes in 2012, according to the CDC, and at least 1,000 of those deaths involved children. The police and families are doing everything they can to stop drunk driving, but most attempts fall flat.
However, there are some who believe that installing a device that checks whether you're drunk into every car could significantly decrease the amount of drunken deaths. This device, called an "ignition interlock device," checks the driver's sobriety level every time they turn the car on via breath analysis and skin detection. If the blood-alcohol content is above the legal limit, then the car will not start.
Currently, the interlock device is used by the police on the cars of citizens who were recently arrested under DUI or DWI charges to make sure they aren't able to perform the act again. But what if they were installed in all cars? One recent study in the American Journal of Public Health found that the installation of interlock devices in perpetrator's cars caused a 67 percent median reduction in DWI recidivism.
These results inspired the researchers to advocate for adding interlock devices to all new cars.
"Over 15 years, as older cars without a so-called alcohol ignition interlock come off the roads, sobriety-screening systems in new vehicles could avert more than 59,000 crash fatalities, more than 1.25 million non-fatal injuries and over $340 billion in injury-related costs" the researchers concluded. The addition of such a device would also diminish police officers relying on checkpoints and chance to catch potential DUI drivers.
However, the installation of a interlock device wouldn't require users to perform a breathalyzer test every time. A new variation on the device, known as the driver alcohol detection system for safety (DADSS), would use infrared light to check both the breath and the skin for blood-alcohol content and respond accordingly. However, the device's inventor says that it will not be ready for five to seven years.