A new technologies has been created by a research team that could help save thousands of lives a year by preventing drunk drivers from starting their engines.
Bud Zaouk, who is leading the team, noted that one of the technologies is breath-based and the other is touch-based, CBS News reported.
The idea is to develop a sensor that could detect if anyone is above the legal limit of .08 and prevent them from moving the vehicle and driving, he said.
With the touch-based detector, "you press the start button and it starts the vehicle. And it will be a small infrared light that shines inside the finger," Bud explained.
The infra-red light looks for alcohol in the finger's tissue.
Alcohol has its own unique optical signature, Bud said, and if the optical signature registers above .08, then the vehicle prevents you from moving.
The sensor in the breath-based approach is located around the steering wheel.
According to Bud, the infra-red light excite the molecules and allows you to find out how much alcohol you have in the breath.
Zaouk said that the technology is in its early stages and it will take eight to 10 years before it is seen inside vehicles.