Russian Emergencies Minister Sergey Shoigu has suggested that all cars in Russia be equipped with breathalyzers. That move would be 100-percent effective in preventing drunken driving, he noted at the opening of a security exhibition in Moscow. Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev expressed support for the idea as well, according to Gazeta.ru.
â€œA person sits at the wheel and, if he is drunk, the car wonâ€™t start because alcohol fumes are being given off and so the machine blocks the carâ€™s starting system,â€ Shoigu explained. He admitted the move may not be popular, saying, â€œNo one is likely to put such a system in his car voluntarily. If we take combating drunken driving seriously, we have to make it mandatory.â€
Russia has a notoriously high traffic fatality rate. According to Sky News last year, two-thirds of all the road deaths in Europe occur in Russia. One hundred people per day die on Russiaâ€™s roads, which is a major contributor to Russia's steep mortality rate and ten times more per automobile than in Great Britain. Bad roads and the lack of emergency equipment and trained personnel are also a major problem. Traffic police are not trained in first aid, for example.