New roadside laser to detect drink-drivers

June 10, 2014 | By | In News

Is it possible for police to tell if you’ve been drinking simply by firing a laser at your car? The Military University of Technology in Warsaw reckons it is.

Scientists at the institution are currently developing a laser-based device that could soon be available to police in their relentless war on drink-drivers.

It works by detecting traces of alcohol at concentrations as low as 0.1 per cent in the air within a car’s cabin. Researchers have admitted that it cannot determine individual drinkers, but will flag up the presence of alcohol within a vehicle in seconds, meaning multiple vehicles can be targeted in quick succession, as currently occurs with roadside speed traps.

“From the practical point of view, there seem to be some countermeasures, such as driving with windows open."

If the system detects alcohol vapours in the vehicle then a message is sent, with a photo of the car and number plate, to an officer waiting further down the road, allowing them to pull a driver over to perform conventional inebriation tests.

“We are already familiar with laser instruments used by the police for speed-limit enforcement,” commented Marco Gianinetto of the Polytechnic University of Milan to the Daily Mail.

“From the practical point of view, there seem to be some countermeasures, such as driving with windows open, solar screens on the side windows, etc., that can be applied by drivers to deceive the system.

“However, such situations are very easily detected by the system, which sends this information to the policeman indicating that the car should be checked,” he concluded.

Would you like to see UK police using such technology to detect drink-drivers? Have your say below.

Picture: Fotolia

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