Engineers are working on a car that drives itself, but what may come first is a car that doesn’t let YOU drive when you’ve had too much to drink.
In 1982, about 49% of drivers killed in car wrecks had blood-alcohol levels of 0.08 or higher. By 1994, that percentage had dropped to about 33%, where it has stayed ever since.
The solution? Develop a car with a breathalyzer in the dashboard sot you have to breathe into it before the car will start (thus designated drivers will become "designated puffers," whose breath contains no alcohol. Alas, this may still allow the inebriated driver to actually drive).
But this will only be a convenience, not a mandate: The National Highway Transportation Authority has no plans to insist that vehicles have these detectors, so a glass of wine with dinner at a restaurant will still be fine.. In the Wall Street Journal, Joseph B. White writes: "The agency got a black eye in the 1970s when it mandated the installation of so-called seat belt interlocks that made it impossible to start a car until the driver fastened the seat belt. The uproar from consumers moved Congress to pass legislation forbidding seat-belt interlocks that stands to this day."
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