Laser Breathalyzer Could Test Your Alcohol Level While You Drive By

car keyIn the past 20 years, technology has evolved so fast that we’re not even surprised when new, inventive devices pop up on the market. Take the tablet computer for example – since the invention of the touchscreen iPad, tablets that are thinner, faster, and smarter than ever are hitting the market every day with little fanfare, so it really takes something that goes beyond the standard tech in today’s market to make an impact. That’s probably why little has been publicized about the latest tech development out of Military University of Technology in Warsaw – a new kind of device is being developed that could potentially work as a ‘laser’ breathalyzer to trap anyone who drives through a set area.

The device works by remotely sensing alcohol vapour in the cabs of vehicles after they have driven through a ‘trap’ or area set up by law enforcement. The device would work in the same way as the laser guns that detect speed, but they will work with less error. While the laser guns currently in use can be inaccurate because of particles in the air like water vapor or dust, the laser under development will use two beams that use separate wavelengths. These wavelengths, along with a mirror placed on the opposite side of the road, would use color vision to detect the presence of ethyl alcohol when groups of vehicles drive through.

There are pros and cons to a device like the laser breathalyzer currently in development. The breathalyzer would detect alcohol in large groups of motorists driving through what is essentially a speed trap and prevent them from sneaking through undetected. When paired with blood alcohol testing, it may increase the likelihood of a DUI arrest or conviction. Unfortunately, a laser breathalyzer would not keep the drinking driver from getting behind the wheel to begin with. As research has shown, the only device that can stop a drinking driver before they drive is an ignition interlock.

Time will tell if the laser breathalyzer will make it out of the lab and into law enforcement’s hands, but a device like this would definitely be useful for law enforcement seeking to catch drinking drivers.