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According to recent reports, Nissan is developing an ignition interlock that would deter intoxicated individuals from starting their cars and possibly causing great bodily harm to themselves or innocent bystanders should they drive drunk. Several recent high-profile, alcohol-related accidents and fatalities in Japan have brought this issue to the forefront, and Nissan appears to be one of the first Japanese automakers to address the issue.
In a meeting earlier this month, Nissan decided to follow a policy of incorporating anti-drunken driving mechanisms in future vehicles. Two such devices under consideration are a tube-like breathalyzer ignition interlock and a PIN keypad with a multi-digit code that might be tricky for an intoxicated individual to remember.

Devices such as these are readily available in the U.S. and Europe already and are often mandated for repeat DUI/DWI offenders. Anybody remember the 40-Year-Old Virgin's ride home from the bar? Although not a laughing matter, the scene points out the potential for bypassing such mechanisms so they shouldn't be considered foolproof by any means.

Although recent changes to Japanese law have seen fatal alcohol-related accidents decline substantially over the past 5 years, Nissan has had a running association with MADD as sponsor of their Strides for Change walkathon and seems determined to help reduce these types of tragedies. This year Nissan and MADD raised $2 million for the cause.

The number of fatalities from alcohol-related accidents has gone down significantly since the 1980's but with more than 16,000 such deaths in 2004, "drunk driving is the nation's most frequently committed violent crime," according to MADD.

[Sources: Drive, MADD]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Erm.. this is for a Japan kind of thing. (I might be bias with Nissan, I love them) Anyway, I'm suprise Autoblog haven't cover some of their future technologies like over at fresh alloy. They're working on hybrid diesel, decided to make their own hybrid technology, variable compress ratio, etc... (maybe they were posted and i just missed it)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Okay, look, there is never any excuse for driving drunk - even "only a little bit drunk"...

      While I wouldn't want one of these in my car (for the hassle factor - I never drive after even a small drink), the fact remains there are idiots out there who will continue to climb behind the wheel drunk off their *ss, kill innocent families/individuals due to their reckless behaviour, and yet you guys sit here and quibble about how drunk isn't that bad at all.

      Sound like a bunch of drunks at 1:58 am to me.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Make an idiot-proof system, and someone will make a better idiot.

      Look, Nissan, I like your cars and I have no problem with you trying to do society some good by keeping drunk drivers off the road, but this ain't gonna work. If someone is drunk, they'll get someone who isn't to blow in it. Short of that, they'll find some other mechanism of overriding it.

      It would be insulting and humiliating to the majority of drivers who drive alcohol-free to have to use this.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh f$#@ that Nazi s!*@.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'd much rather them create a device that detects if you're using a cell phone and shuts the car down.

      To be perfectly honest, I'd much rather be driving at 2 AM on a highway loaded with drunk drivers than at 11 AM on a highway loaded with soccer moms driving SUVs talking on cell phones.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "drunk driving is the nation's most frequently committed violent crime"

      It's asinine comments like that that cause people to describe MADD as fanatical or extremist rather than progressive or effective
      • 8 Years Ago
      You see my Dad use to have my sister and I wait in the parking lot (I'm 24) at the bar while he got drunk, then I would drive all of us home. I was 11 years old when I started doing that, and this I don't see working so long as you have a Dad that has an 11 year old willing to drive him home.

      In fact, did my first "state-to-state" drive from Ohio to Indiana while my Dad cracked open one after another.

      He always said HE would decide when his son was ready to drive, not the government. Just sucks the insurance companies don't count those years of my driving (11-15)!
      • 8 Years Ago
      "8. Easy solution: bring back Prohibition!

      Government has regulated & taxed nicotine to near annihilation so why not do the same with alcohol?

      Q. Do Muslim countries have drunk driving problems?

      Posted at 1:34PM on Sep 15th 2006 by Edsel 0 stars"

      -Yeah but you know what was legal during Prohibition?! Pass that BONG!!!! I'd be down for the switch.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Today you blow into your interlock device to be able to start your car. Tomorrow you'll have to give a drop of blood like those blood sugar level testers to be able to drive, which will test for everything that could impair your ability to drive.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why would you do this voluntarily? Like it or not, but people drive all the time after a couple of beers at dinner or after the softball game or whatever. Given a choice b/t a vehicle with one of these or without, guess what one they're gonna choose.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My friend was stopped at a light while on his way home from faxing papers for his class, when a woman hit him from behind at 85+mph, she survived he did not. you can read more about it here as well as the thousands of lives he touched in such a short time.


      None of you can imagine the pain those events have brought to Friends and family of Paul Maidman, if you have not lost someone to a senseless crime. Its senseless as these CRIMES can be prevented by systems like these and technologies like these that have been around for decades. I would stand behind this new system 100% I would even trade in my vehicle and buy one if they make it to the US market. who knows if car companies had been implementing these when the technology was first out, I might still have my friend to talk to whenever I wanted or needed to.

      Fact is too many people drive drunk and something needs to change before more innocent lives are lost. for those of you saying someone else will blow into the devices, thats just the same as loading a gun for someone who is about to go shoot it at random crowds of people. NO DIFFERENCE, because when you drive drunk you are steering a 3000lb bullet.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Easy solution: bring back Prohibition!

      Government has regulated & taxed nicotine to near annihilation so why not do the same with alcohol?

      Q. Do Muslim countries have drunk driving problems?
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