Last year 15% of road deaths in Britain involved drivers who were over the legal limit. And in Europe, EU figures show that the death of 25% of all drivers in road accidents could be attributed to drink driving.
The Saab Alcokey concept includes a small mouthpiece in the car’s key fob. A transponder communicates with the car’s electronic control unit, immobilising the engine if a driver’s breath sample is found to contain alcohol above the permitted level.
The Alcokey could be sold as an accessory through Saab dealers and is currently under evaluation. The concept is intended as a convenient and inexpensive means of measuring a driver’s alcohol level without the need to install more costly, fixed apparatus inside the car.
In commercial production the Alcokey concept would cost about €250 (£165).
Companies operating large car fleets, with employees driving a great deal on business, are anxious to demonstrate their social responsibility by having an alcohol-monitoring device fitted as standard. And in some countries, it may even become mandatory to fit them.