Queensland Police have started using new alcohol interlock devices with biometric facial verification capabilities in order to lower rates of high-risk drink driving.
The news was reported by ABC News and will see convicted motorists forced to pay AU$2,000 (roughly US$1,450) for the installation of the biometric devices in their cars.
After integration by an auto technician scheduled by the end of the month, the alcohol interlock devices will require a breath test, as well as a facial verification check to start the ignition.
According to Queensland Assistant Minister for Regional Roads Bruce Saunders, the new face biometrics technology was introduced to identify drivers trying to spoof earlier models
“I’ve had an instance in my electorate where a man had the old interlock system and he was getting his neighbor’s kid to blow in the interlock so he could drive his car, which is a worry and concern,” Saunders told ABC News.
The move comes amidst a reduction of the high-risk Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) from 0.15 to 0.1 state-wide, after an average of 55 people were reportedly killed in Queensland each year in alcohol-related road crashes, and 500 were seriously injured.
It is not the first time biometrics are utilized to detect drunk driving, but recent advances in the technology have caused privacy advocates to warn against the increasing amounts of personal data captured and held by cars.