Stella Dimoko Student Invents Device To Stop Drunk Drivers In Their Tracks


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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Student Invents Device To Stop Drunk Drivers In Their Tracks

How many accidents would be avoided if a vehicle were to automatically stop after detecting that the driver was drunk or the music was louder than the allowed limit?

Now this could be a reality if an Alcohol and Sound Detection System designed by university student Alex Menjo, which is among the innovations on display at the Nairobi International Trade Fair, is adopted by the government and the public transport industry.

Mr Menjo, a fifth year telecommunications and information engineering student at the Multimedia University of Kenya (MMU), said the ASDS can help stem the rising number of road accidents involving public service vehicles.
He attributes most accidents to drunken driving and speeding.  

“The breathalysers (Alcoblow) by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) only solve part of the problem because you have to be caught driving and because you can’t stop people from drinking, why not stop them from getting behind the wheel?” he says.

MMU students took to the streets two weeks ago to protest the death of a colleague in an accident involving a matatu on the Ongata Rongai route.
His system is fitted with a breathalyser located on either the steering wheel or the side door that can “measure alcohol in the air”.

Mr Menjo says this device can even be concealed from the driver in a PSV.
The system has capabilities that can notify the vehicle owner and the police about the exact location of the vehicle.

A micro-controller attached to the breathalyser is programmed to convert the alcohol level into electric pulses that can be measured against the level set.
“When the driver starts the ignition, the breathalyser immediately measures the content of the alcohol in the breath,” he says.
The information is fed to a sensor that triggers the engine to stop if the alcohol level is high.

The engine cannot be switched on as long as the drunk driver is on the steering wheel.

A parallel system that measures the level of noise in the vehicle works in a similar way but instead of a breathalyser it has a microphone which converts sound into a direct current before sending the pulse to the microcontroller.

More than 1,602 people died from road accidents in the first six months of this year, according to NTSA.

These are 89 more compared to the same period last year. Mr Menjo says his innovation could help to reverse this trend. news


  1. Replies
    1. We really need this device in this country. so many drunk drivers, have ruin the lives of innocent people. The government should take this seriously.

  2. Nice one...a lots of accidents could have been avoided you know

  3. Wow this is nice

  4. Great innovation however I think public enlightenment of the dangers and consequences of drunk driving supercedes. Any system is as intelligent as its designer and no system is 100% proof. What if a driver has someone else to start the car for him and then drive-off? Or even tamper with the many scenarios running through my mind but good job to the inventor, at least we'll start from somewhere

  5. Very good boy. Wish someone can invent one in Nigeria

  6. Nice one. This is very innovative. CNN no go see this one about Africa talk o

  7. If only it will be put in use it will go a long way! Nice one

  8. ThankGod for Kenya! Pls,shine more light. Nigeria that claims "Gi-Ant" of Africa.
    Dem dey here to this generation dey drag matter for APC and PDP.
    A whole Naija; Dem no fit yab Kenya today!
    Wetin our own youth dey do;God forgive & help us


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