Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, South Carolina

NHTSA Takes Step to Implement Drunk Driving Prevention Tech in Vehicles

POV of a drunk driver at night in the city, showing a streak of colorful light trails blurred by the driver's impairment.

In 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 13,384 fatalities were caused by drunk driving accidents. In response, federal automobile regulators have initiated steps to integrate drunk driving prevention technology into new cars as a standard feature. The NHTSA recently stated that this technology has the potential to significantly reduce the annual fatalities caused by impaired driving in the United States.

While this technology may help keep our roads safer, it could raise some concerns. Most notably, this drunk driving prevention tech could become incriminating evidence for those facing DUI charges in South Carolina. That's why it's important to seek help from an experienced DUI defense attorney who can challenge the evidence.

The rulemaking stage regarding drunk driving prevention tech in vehicles

Ann Carlson, the acting administrator of NHTSA, stated that impaired driving crashes are entirely preventable. The agency's announcement of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking marks the beginning phase of developing new federal regulations.

The NHTSA plans to gather data on current technologies that detect and prevent impaired driving to assess their potential for national implementation. These technologies include sensors that can detect alcohol through breath or touch and cameras designed to monitor eye movements for signs of impairment.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has welcomed this development and is advocating for the swift adoption of these technologies. MADD national president Tess Rowland was involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in 2021. In a statement, she said:

"Everyone involved in this rulemaking process at NHTSA and everyone designing impaired driving prevention technologies at car companies need to understand that this is about saving human beings from the horror I've experienced and from the deaths and injuries of tens of thousands of Americans."

Can evidence from drunk driving prevention tech be challenged?

It's important that drivers follow the rules of the road and avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking. However, no technology that detects drunk driving is foolproof. Attorney Matt Bodman has seen incriminating errors in breathalyzers and chemical tests.

For example, improper calibration or infrequent maintenance can lead to inaccurate readings in breath tests. Additionally, alcohol levels can rise and fall. So the timing of an alcohol test relative to the time of driving should be scrutinized.

Some devices might also have inherent design issues that could lead to inaccurate readings. This includes sensitivity to certain chemicals that might be present in the breath of non-intoxicated individuals. As with any technology relying on software, glitches or errors in the programming of the device can lead to incorrect readings.

Don't take any chances if you've been charged. Get help from a DUI defense attorney today

If you've been charged with DUI in South Carolina, don't take any chances with your future. The legal consequences can be severe, including hefty fines, imprisonment, and loss of driving privileges. For first-time offenders, the penalties can already be significant, with fines reaching up to $400 and potential jail time. Subsequent offenses carry even harsher consequences.

That's why it's crucial to seek help from an experienced DUI defense attorney to protect your rights and fight the charges against you. Matt Bodman, P.A. in Columbia, SC, is here to provide you with valuable legal advice and strategic DUI defense. A former Assistant Solicitor (Assistant District Attorney) in Richland County, Attorney Bodman knows how the criminal justice system works and can fight for the outcome your case deserves.

Don't wait—contact us today to start building your defense and protecting your freedom.

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