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Can my car get me in trouble for a DUI?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2022 | Drunk Driving

It seems that cars keep getting smarter and smarter. Instead of learning the intricate method of parallel parking, many vehicles have a feature that will complete the task for you.

Now, legislators are discussing laws that would require new vehicles to detect drunk driving. This innovation aims to lower (or eliminate) the number of drunk drivers on the road.

Here’s what you should know about the new technology and the laws to go with it.

How would my vehicle know?

Currently, one of the consequences of a DUI is an ignition interlock system that requires drivers to blow into a device before starting the car and at random intervals while driving. The proposed system in the legislation would be quite different from the familiar system.

Instead of requiring a breath test, new vehicles would have a sensor that detects the same eye movement that police look for when doing the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. In the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, an officer will ask you to follow their finger with your eyes. If your eye has a reflexive jerk, it is a consistent indicator that you may have had too much to drink.

Will my car get me in trouble?

Currently, the ultimate action on a vehicle-detected DUI is unclear; much of the technology is still in testing phases, and the legislation would give automakers a few years to implement the appropriate technology.

The idea behind most of the prototypes is to prevent drunk driving rather than causing legal issues. Instead of taking action, like calling law enforcement, these systems would likely make the vehicle inoperable until a sober driver is present.