Nissan has unveiled a concept car that among other things, checks a driver’s soberness and alertness with a mounted camera that monitors blinking. According to a news report from Associated Press, the car’s alcohol detection system also features sensors in the gear shift knob that will test the level of the driver’s perspiration and may even issue a cautionary message in an electronic voice to prevent Georgia DUIs.

These cars will be available this year in Japan and as early as next year in the United States, the news agency reports. According to Nissan officials, the car was designed in such as way that it can assess danger on its own and interacts with the driver to relay those dangers. Another example of this interaction – is if the driver takes his foot off the pedal, the car will automatically apply brakes to stop the car and if the driver continues to step on the gas pedal, the car will keep moving.

From a DUI standpoint, the most interesting feature is the way the car’s system measures alcohol levels in a driver’s sweat from sensors in the gear shift. This almost acts like an ignition locking mechanism. In addition, an electronic voice issues a warning. A computerized camera measures the driver’s blinking to check if he or she is intoxicated or drowsy. Nissan officials say they don’t think an average person might want to buy this car, but that it may have its uses in commercial vehicles such as delivery trucks or taxicabs.

While these new features, using probably some of the most sophisticated technology available today, may sound like a good deal, there is a flip side to this coin. It may end up making people laxer about drinking and driving. A driver who has had something to drink may just believe it’s OK for him or her to drive because the car “will take care of it and let them know if they shouldn’t be on the road.

If you are drunk, you shouldn’t be behind the wheel. That’s the bottom line. While these safety features are always a welcome addition and may help repeat offenders, the best solution is to remember not to drink and drive.


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