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A new high-tech device could soon end the problem of drunk driving for good–at least for those drivers who opt to have the system installed in their new cars. A Japanese company has received a $2.25 million grant from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration to further develop a "noninvasive biometric intoxication detection system", or a device that will check the blood alcohol level through the skin of the finger.

The Japanese company, TruTouch, specializes in these types of systems and the product has an infrared light that transmits through the skin when a user places their finger on the optical touch pad. The light is then reflected back by the skin to the device. The device then verifies the user’s identity and blood alcohol concentration. The system is said to be as accurate as a blood test.

While this system sounds like a promising way of ending drunk driving, critics are skeptical that it will have any major impact on the number of drunk driving accidents and related injuries and deaths since it is voluntary to have it installed in a new car. Unfortunately, those most likely to drink and drive are probably the least likely to voluntarily install such a system in their vehicles. However, the new technology is still a step in the right direction to end drunk driving.

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