NHTSA study on DWIs: New technology can reduce risk of crashes, injury

A new bracelet can monitor the driver's blood alcohol level through the wearer's skin. The tech could lead to new legislation, helping to reduce the risk of drunk driving accidents.

A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, reports that new technology can reduce the rate of repeat drunk driving offenses. Data supported the conclusion that SCRAM, the technology used in the study, is an effective tool to monitor drunk drivers for sobriety while saving monitoring agencies time and resources. Ultimately, use of SCRAM was found to increase the safety of our nation's roadways by removing the number of inebriated drivers.

More on the study: What is SCRAM?

The acronym refers to the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring program. The program uses an ankle bracelet to conduct alcohol readings through the skin of the wearer.

Data was gathered from over 3,000 drinking and driving offenders in two states. Each individual wearer averaged 85 days using the system in the Wisconsin study and 87 in the Nebraska study. Researchers with the study note that the group used to gather data was at high risk for recidivism, or reoffending. Even with this high risk, the study found the SCRAM system significantly reduced the risk of recidivism.

Drunk driving in Connecticut: Could SCRAM help?

Drunk driving is a problem in Connecticut. According to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), there were 114 drunk driving fatalities in 2014. This number represents 41.3 percent of all traffic deaths in the state during that year, and translates to a 14 percent increase from the previous year. Although state legislatures have taken action to reduce these risks, including the recent passage of a law that requires the installation of ignition interlock devices with a first time DUI offense, additional steps may be required. This could include use of new technology like SCRAM.

Researchers with the NHTSA study report that there were limitations and that additional research is recommended. The primary limitation discussed was the use of a limited pool of SCRAM users. Although these users were high risk offenders and were found to benefit from the technology, a more thorough study would provide a more precise measurement of the impact of the technology. This research may need to be completed before legislatures consider requiring use of a SCRAM system.

Injured in a drunk driving accident: Should you get a lawyer?

Even with legislation increasing penalties associated with drinking and driving, accidents happen. Those who are involved in these accidents and injured may consider whether or not they should hire an attorney. The short answer is yes. Those injured in an accident connected to drunk driving are likely eligible to receive compensation to help cover the costs associated with the crash. This can include medical bills, damaged property (like your car) and lost wages. An experienced DWI victim attorney can help better ensure the victim receives the compensation he or she is entitled to.

Keywords: drunk driving car accident