Toyota testing drunk-driver lockdown device

Drivers blow into the handheld device, which analyzes their breath without them having to put the product in their mouths. Cab drivers everywhere seen buying boats and beach houses.

Toyota breathalyzer
Toyota

In a move sure to make the members of MADD happy (see what I did there?), Toyota has announced that it's testing a mouthpiece-free breathalyzer to keep those with high alcohol levels off the road.

Toyota

Similar to Volvo's drunk-driving tool , drivers blow into the handheld device, which analyzes their breath without them having to put the product in their mouths.

A mounted digital camera records which face goes with which reading so an inebriated driver can't try to push a false reading from a volunteer's less-boozy breath.

If the level is too high (no word yet on what "too high" means), the ignition is disabled until a lower reading is achieved. That means Amy Winehouse won't be tooling around your neighborhood anytime soon.

While I respect the motivation behind the technology, I'm worried about false positives. I rinse with mouthwash before leaving the house every day, but what if my car won't turn on because of the traces of alcohol on my breath from my Scope? I'd have to wait until I could get a clear reading, and I really don't have time for that. Maybe I could start keeping mouthwash in the glove compartment. Or buy a Honda instead.

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.

     

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