ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP)U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says the federal government should increase funding for the development of high-tech sensors that can disable a car’s ignition if its driver is drunk.

The New York Democrat said Sunday he is  asking the federal government to commit $40 million over the next six years for research and development of the new sensors known as the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, or DADSS.

Schumer called it an amazing technology.

“If your hands touch the driving wheel or even if you breathed into the air and you were above the legal limit of alcohol, the ignition of your car would not start,” he told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond, in Manhattan on Sunday.

Schumer said the new sensors are less cumbersome than existing ignition interlocks, and could one day be made available as a regular option in automobiles. He said they should also be mandatory for those convicted of drunken driving.

The senator pointed to the July 18 limousine crash on Long Island that killed four women.

“It gets you very angry when you read about it,” Schumer said. “But it should get people more angry when they know there’s a technology, and with a little bit of work, we could have it available in every car.”

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