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In an effort to eliminate drunk driving, Toyota recently announced that it is developing a system for its cars which will detect whether the driver is intoxicated.

Cars fitted with the detection system will not start if sweat sensors in the driving wheel detect high levels of alcohol in the driver’s bloodstream, according to a report carried by the mass-circulation daily, Asahi Shimbun.

The system could also kick in if the sensors detect abnormal steering, or if a special camera shows that the driver’s pupils are not in focus. The car is then slowed to a halt, the report said

The automaker hopes to curb the recent surge of drunk driving accidents in Japan with its new sensor. The device is projected to be in place by model year 2009.
Competitor Nissan is also experimenting with devices which prevent drunk drivers from taking to the streets.

This technology can’t come soon enough. Right now, there are no mechanisms which will prevent an intoxicated driver from getting behind the wheel other than an inebriated conscious and perhaps the concerns of others. The only mechanical devices available are doled out to drivers previously convicted of intoxicated driving. Anything we can do to make our streets safer for us and our children should be encouraged!

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