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New device combats drunk driving in Japan

New device combats drunk driving in Japan

TOKYO, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- A new cell phone device is proving popular with bus and transport companies in the fight against drunk driving in Japan, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

The device consists of a cell phone attached to a breath analyzer developed by NTT DoCoMo Inc.

As public awareness of the dangers of intoxicated driving is growing throughout Japan, the Construction and Transport Ministry has tightened administrative punishments for transport companies, the report said. One of the measures was a possible suspension in business for companies that allowed employees to drive while intoxicated.

To use the new system, the driver makes a video-phone call to the company, then breathes into the analyzer connected to the cell phone. The video image of the driver blowing into the analyzer and data recording the alcohol level on his or her breath are transmitted to the company and confirmed there by computer.

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported the new measures have motivated companies to become more serious about preventing drivers from operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

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