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- Blow to go. Car checks for alcohol before starting

Is this nanny-state car a step too far?

WHEN A Spanish minister’s son died in a car crash, local car giant SEAT vowed to create a car so safe it would eliminate road deaths.

Tellingly, when I ask Stefan Ilijevic, the inventor of the resulting Cristobal prototype, when he gets his best ideas — expecting “In the bath” or similar — he answers: “When the president of Spain tells you to.”

Whatever the motivation, the results could be transformative.

I climb into the Cristobal beside Ilijevic, who is officially SEAT’s Head of Predevelopment, Patents and Innovation, as the first UK reporter allowed behind the wheel. “PLEASE BLOW NOW” booms the car after pressing the Start button. The car won’t even start until I’ve been breathalysed, but as my last gin was 16 hours prior, I pass.

It remains to be seen whether customers would be willing to wait the 20 seconds for their own car to analyse their breath before being allowed to hit the road, but this — and a lot of Cristobal’s features — can be turned on only for certain users. Your young adult children, for example, or booze-loving uncle Steve.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SEAT CRISTOBAL'S SAFETY TECH AT DRIVING.CO.UK

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