Russia looking at implementing built-in breathalyser devices in new cars in a bid to curb drink-driving issue

Tougher laws and stricter punishment may make many think twice about driving when intoxicated, but sadly, being drunk has never stopped many from attempting to drive. But what if you couldn’t, and we’re not talking about the inability to do so because you’re pass-out drunk?

Russia is looking to halt inebriated folk from driving by making it impossible to get going if a driver is shit-faced. The country is looking at a new way to clamp down on drink-driving by fitting cars with devices to breathalyse drivers, and is reportedly looking at ways to encourage manufacturers to install them in vehicles coming off the factory floor, Reuters reports.

According to Russian newspaper Komersant, the country’s industry ministry hopes to draw up a plan by the end of 2020 to spur the mass use of interlocks, which would require drivers to pass a built-in breathalyser test before they can start the ignition. The ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the report.

Installing alcohol interlocks would of course introduce additional cost for automakers, and is likely to be opposed by many car companies given the poor business conditions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Previous efforts to deploy alcohol interlocks in the country have been unsuccessful.

While Russia remains a nation of heavy drinkers, a World Health Organisation (WHO) study indicates that alcoholic consumption fell by an estimated 43% from 2003 to 2016, the decline in consumption being put down to higher alcohol excise taxes, policies clamping down on home-made alcohol and an increase in the minimum price for vodka.

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