updated 7/20/2005 5:30:55 PM ET 2005-07-20T21:30:55

Car maker Volvo has asked the Swedish government to waive the country's strict drunken driving laws to allow its test drivers to booze on the job, news reports said Wednesday.

The safety-conscious automaker wants to test a new technology that is designed to make the car take control of steering when a driver's reaction time is slowed because of intoxication or fatigue.

If the request is granted, it would be the first exception to Sweden's drunken driving laws, which are among the world's toughest, national broadcaster SVT reported.

The testing would be done on a special track near Goteborg, on Sweden's west coast, where Volvo's parent company, Ford Motor Co., has a safety development facility.

In Sweden, just one beer or glass of wine can land a driver in jail for up to six months.

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