- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 24, 2004

THE HAGUE — In traffic, there is no room for alcohol. We all know that, but to apply it is something different from merely knowing it.

Last year in Sweden, alcohol was involved in 29 percent of all deadly car accidents. That is why Saab developed the Alcokey. It is still a prototype of a very small alcohol-sensing device. With it, the engine can only be started after the driver has blown on the mouthpiece and the alcohol sensor has given the green light.

In the Alcokey, which is a small mouthpiece on the key fob, the breath flows along a sensor that is connected to a transponder.

If the alcohol level is above the legally permitted level, the transponder does not give the deblocking code for the electronic starter.

When the driver pushes the button of the central lock of the car, he or she activates the alcohol sensor. To start the car, one first has to blow, after which a red or green light will come on.

If it is green, the key functions normally. If it is red, the demobilizing system will stay activated and starting will be impossible.

Saab sees possibilities for the Alcokey as an option, especially now that fleet owners are much more aware of the problems of alcohol in traffic.

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