Many of us today know someone who has been seriously injured or killed by a drunk driver. In fact, drunk driving took more than 10,000 American lives in 2013, accounting for nearly one-third of all traffic related deaths in the U.S., according to data from the CDC.

A young man from Wichita Falls has come up with something that can help minimize the lives lost to drunk driving. Business Insider’s Tanya Lewis recently reported on a local teen who’s invented a device that can detect when someone’s had a few too many, or perhaps something else that impairs their senses, just by looking into their eyes.

13 year-old Krishna Reddy is competing in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for the title of ‘America's Top Young Scientist’. The winner also receives a top prize of $25,000. The finals will take place on October 12 and 13 and will be streamed live by Discovery Channel.

Reddy’s device is made simply from a toilet paper roll, a flexible shaft flashlight and a digital camera.  According to the Business Insider article as published by Yahoo Finance, the flashlight is held up to the eye, and the toilet roll directs the light onto the pupil. The digital camera is used to take video of the pupil as it contracts. Using a software program Reddy wrote, the reactions of the pupil are measured and analyzed when the light is shone into the eye.

The device can not only detect if someone has had too much to drink, but also whether they are under the influence of a variety of drugs, both legal and illegal. In the short video below, Reddy explains his project and why it’s so important. Not your typical 13 year-old for sure.

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