Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate calls for automakers to implement drunk-driving detection technology in all new cars by 2024. The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act of 2019 calls for congress to commit $10 million to continued research and development of an alcohol-detection system that would prevent a drunk driver from starting a car. The new technology involves breathalyzers and touch sensors that are meant to monitor levels of alcohol in a driver’s system.
Drunk Driving Dangers
Approximately one-third of traffic deaths are due to drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drunk drivers killed more than 10,800 people in 2017. Senators have been concerned for many years about the effects of drunk driving on families and communities. In dealing with such an innovative and consumer-driven industry, the lawmakers are appealing to car manufacturers to commit to developing an easy-to-use, unobtrusive system within the next five years. Senators are making the same appeal to fellow policy makers in Congress.
Devices in Development
For more than a decade, federal funds have supported a joint initiative between the government-established National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and car-industry association, Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, to develop the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety.
The public-private partnership has produced two major device concepts. Both devices disable a car’s capacity to operate if the system detects a driver’s blood-alcohol level is above 0.08 percent, the legal limit. The first is a sensor that measures alcohol on the breath of any person in the driver’s seat. The second device uses touch-based technology to take a blood-alcohol measurement by shining an infrared-light through the driver’s fingertip as the driver touches the car’s start button or steering wheel.
Current Available Technology
The in-vehicle, alcohol-detection systems currently in use will not allow a car to start if any amount of alcohol is detected in a breath sample, which must be actively supplied by a driver. Forthcoming versions will offer passive breath collection and feature alcohol-concentration measuring capabilities. While improvements are needed for wider application, the current versions are useful for zero-tolerance policies regarding public transportation and trucking companies, as well as for teens and other drivers under the legal drinking age.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims Injured in Drunk Driving Accidents
The decision to drive drunk increases the likelihood of a car accident and puts people in danger. If you or someone you love was injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, you should contact the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 215-569-8488 or contact us online. With offices in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we help car accident victims throughout the surrounding areas.