New Technology Could Stop Drunk Drivers

September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 8, 2010 at 6:31 PM EDT

By John Borsa

September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 8, 2010 at 6:31 PM EDT

NORTH TONAWANDA, NY (WKBW) -- Ann Orszulak remembers getting the phone call at 3 a.m. that her 19-year-old daughter was killed in a car crash.

"She went off the road, hit a telephone pole, a transformer and a tree head on," Orszulak said.

"There was nothing left of her," she said of her 19-year-old daughter Victoria Balcom, who died in 2007.

Balcom was drunk. Her BAC was .12, over the legal limit of .08.

Orszulak believes that new technology could have saved her daughter's life.

Researchers are developing an alcohol-detection system that would prevent a drunk driver from taking the wheel by analyzing a person's skin.

"If this device was inside of her car, she would be here today," said Orszulak.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NEW YORK) joined Victoria's mother at North Tonawanda City Hall on Thursday at announce a $60 million appropriation to help develop the new technology, which Schumer wants to see in all cars and trucks one day.

"The way the technology would work -- the minute someone who was over the legal limit sat in the driver's seat and touched the steering wheel -- the ignition would disengage and the car couldn't drive," Schumer said.

The gadget could save countless lives.

But the American Beverage Institute, a national organization representing over 8,000 restaurants, says making the device mandatory will create a de fecto prohibition of alcohol.

"Standard equipment that would come in all new cars, and would be set at very low levels - eliminating people's ability to have a glass of wine with dinner -- or beer at a ballgame -- is extremely bad policy," said Institute spokesperson Sarah Longwell.