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MI Safety Matters - "Sober Steering" Hopes to Curb Drunk Driving

The legal career of an experienced Detroit personal injury lawyer is based around helping people who have sustained personal injury or died as a result of an accident. Among the most tragic are drunk driving accidents, as they are not only preventable, they can have life-changing consequences for those involved. Proactive and creative individuals such as Dennis Bellehumeur have taken the matter into their own hands, developing a number of devices from interlock systems to cell phone applications to prevent individuals from driving while intoxicated.

As a clinical neuropsychologist, Bellehumeur was often witness to the personal injury that can result from drunk driving accidents, as well as the devastating effects it has on the family of the victim. Additionally, his own family was impacted by drunk driving when his son sustained personal injury in an alcohol-related crash. His passionate motives behind raising drunk driving awareness prompted him to start Sober Steering Sensors Canada Inc., a company that hopes to use technology to prevent people from driving while intoxicated. Working along Seacoast Science Inc., technology is being developed that would build chemical sensors into steering wheels. These would be able to detect the gas byproducts of alcohol through the skin, should the person behind the wheel be under the influence of alcohol.

Nationwide, more lawmakers are enforcing the use of ”interlock systems” in vehicles of convicted drunk drivers. These devices require the motorist to blow into a breathalyzer before the car will start. If the system registers that the motorist is over the legal limit, the vehicle will not turn on.

While Bellehumeur is in favor of devising technological means of combating drunk driving, he believes that the interlock systems are ineffective for a number of reasons. Not only are they incredibly expensive ($1,300 to $2,000), there is a low compliance rate. Even if judges order them, people break the law and drive anyways–some drivers have been known to cheat the system by having another person blow into the breathalyzer for them. Sensors built into steering wheel would be both cost-effective ($200), and invisible as not to divert attention from the road.

As a Detroit personal injury attorney who also witnesses first-hand the devastating effects of drunk driving accidents, I applaud the efforts made by Dennis Belleheumer to prevent motorists from getting behind the wheel drunk. The effects of drunk driving accidents are permanent and life-changing, usually resulting in severe personal injury or death. Therefore, it is essential to contact hard-working legal counsel that will not only provide answers, but the best legal advice and legal representation for your case. Doing so immediately can help ensure the best outcome for your personal injury claim.