In the last ten years, statistics have shown that these devices have been extremely effective, reducing by 15 percent the deaths from automobile accidents related to alcohol. But now it turns out that these same systems anti-drunk have also caused thousands of accidents.
In November 2017, for example, Alexis Butler was pulling out from a driveway in Arlington, Texas when a pickup dabbed his Toyota Camry. The driver, Blake Cowan, had been arrested twice the previous year for driving drunk, but was sober at the time of the accident, according to the police data. Cowan, in fact, had just passed the test, but had dropped the device on the floor. And trying to take it back to keep it handy for the next control, you are distracted and hit the car of mrs. Butler, who died a week after.
it is only the most striking of a large investigation that is shaking the Us why to pass the driving test, the pilot must lift a hand from the wheel, take the device and blow - strong - in his mouthpiece for several seconds. If the driver fails or does not conform, the car goes into panic mode: the headlights blink and the horn sounds until the driver turns off the engine.
And since at the time nearly 350,000 people in the United States have alcoltest that stop the car (and their number is growing rapidly and aims to become a mandatory system on all new cars by 2024), the risk of distraction for these devices is alarming. How to send SMS to the steering wheel or talk on the phone.
A long article in the New York Times reports dozens of complaints and lawsuits for collisions in which the devices have had a prominent role. Resounding the case of a motorist of Pennsylvania while trying to complete a test has blown so hard that you passed out and crashed into a tree.
"we Remain convinced, however, - says J. T. Griffin, director of government affairs of the MADD, the powerful organization of Mothers Against Drunk Driving - that alcoltest block drive to save lives", But they are also a business not bad: drivers pay about $ 75 to mount these devices on their car, as well as the tariff of monthly monitoring, which generally ranges from 60 to 100 dollars. The annual cost then is about $ 1,000 per car. And the leading companies of the sector "Smart Start" and "Dräger" have doubled the turnover in one year.
The controversy, however, was not appeased. And after the maxi-investigation of the New York Times, reported by all the media, Usa, has directly intervened with his majesty, NHTSA. Namely, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal authority in charge of establishing equipment standards for vehicle safety, which said it would review the guidelines on how they should operate the devices alcotest lock the car. You should be - according to rumors - towards a radical change in their operation, with the test to be performed only when the vehicle is stationary. The battle is open: hauliers are on a war footing, for them would mean having to stop several times along the route, with enormous losses of time and money.
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