Scientists Have Figured Out How to Use Lasers to Detect Drunk Drivers

By: Rahul Kalvapalle - Jun 10, 2014
References: spie.org & gizmag
Researchers at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw, Poland are developing a method by which high-intensity beams of light can be used to detect drunk drivers, by analyzing the presence of alcohol in vehicles.

The researchers used a technique known as 'stand-off detection,' which involves identifying substances at a distance. Stand-off detection is normally used to detect explosives and hazardous materials without having to get close to them, but the scientists think it could now be used to detect drunk drivers.

The scientists were able to shine a laser through a car's windows and have it reflect back via a mirror located on the other side of the car. The reflected laser light was analyzed by the scientists to determine how much alcohol vapor was present in the air inside the car.

Going forward, it would be possible to set up an automated system that takes a photo of the car showing its license plate number, which could be transmitted to police who could pull the car over and subject the driver to a breathalyzer test.