By on May 28, 2010

Around the world, drunk driving is a deadly problem without an easy solution. After all, the link between driving under the influence and generally screwing up your life (and the lives of others) has been conclusively proven, and yet the problem continues. What to do? Volvo’s answer: buy a Volvo and spend €850  (plus up to €90 for installation) on “Alcoguard,” a dealer-installed optional breathalyzer ignition interlock. With this system in place, drivers must blow into an interlock, proving that they are beneath the legal blood-alcohol-content limit before the vehicle will start.

Similar systems are used as probation terms for repeat DUI offenders in several US states, where they have been effective yet controversial. But, as Sebastian Renz puts it in a column in the latest print edition of Auto Motor und Sport

Nobody consciously drives drunk. And anyone who might drive drunk isn’t going to buy this device

Needless to say, we couldn’t agree more. And we applaud Volvo’s decision thus far to not waste money trying to market this pointless feature on US-market Volvos. On the other hand, maybe they are missing an opportunity: like all pointless vehicle options, this one might actually do quite well in the Los Angeles area.

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11 Comments on ““Lohan-Proof” Your German-Market Volvo For €850...”

  • avatar

    Well given that Volvo is a Chinese company now I could see this as effective for that market where people tend to “be driven” rather than “drive.” Make your driver blow before he starts the car and then you know he hasn’t been drinking while you were in your very important meeting.

  • avatar

    LOL, I love that sarcasm, ed.

    But seriously, two kinds of people would spend 850 Euros on this:

    – Court ordered people
    – Hopeless alcoholics who don’t trust themselves.

    I wouldn’t think Volvo would want either demographic in their customer base – but I guess money is money.

  • avatar

    Pointless? Fleet buyers love alcolocks. Lawmakers loves alcolocks. Other than cost there is no good reason they shouldnt be mandated on all new cars.

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar

      I agree. Solve the issue right then and there. Maybe I can quit seeing all those drunk driving ads on TV. Because it’d be OVER. Except for a few people finding ways around it.

      Why is stability control becoming mandatory, and not alcohol interlocks? if we’re really as concerned as we say we are, why not implement a solution?

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    So what does this thing do that a rubber bulb won’t get around?

  • avatar

    Starting with LEOS…

    There’s a different standard that applies, at least until you kill FOUR innocent civilians.

    Even then, ‘the law’ is there for you, far more than any normal citizen…

  • avatar

    Some fleet buyers are already buying cars with Alcolock. Example from Denmark:

    Wall Street Journal April 10 2010:
    “Even under the new rules, drivers of Carlsberg’s 600 beer trucks, vans and cars can still drink up to three bottles of brew daily. But now company vehicles come equipped with an Alcolock, a device drivers must blow into before turning on the ignition. If the device detects excessive alcohol, the vehicle won’t start.

    Mr. Christiansen says the Alcolocks are fine, so long as the company doesn’t take away the suds. “A driver usually has one beer on his lunch break, another after his shift and maybe he gives the third one away,” says the 40-year-old, who quit driving a truck two years ago to be a union rep.”

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