Listen: Could Your Next Car Say 'No' to Drunk Driving?
"In the United States alone. Thirty people die every day and drunk. Driving related crashes that equates to one person every forty eight minutes but simple technology to prevent and even possibly end drunk driving exists so why aren't carmakers required to implement it uh-huh new legislation in the United States aims to do just that to require all new cars be equipped with Alcohol Addiction Systems by two thousand twenty four the reduce impaired driving for everyone act of two thousand nineteen known as the riot act was introduced to Congress from both sides of the aisle by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico and Rick. Scott out of Florida who co-sponsored the Senate bill and representative Debbie Dingle of Michigan in the House. Democrats and Republicans working together. The lawmakers believed the law could save seven thousand lives per year. We spoke by email with Ned. Adrian's Senator Udalls Communications Director. He said Udal saw the success. That ignition interlock. Technology had in reducing the number of alcohol related driving fatalities in New Mexico indices alcohol detection. Technology is a big part of the solution in preventing drunk drivers from. I'm getting behind the wheel. The Right Act doesn't just call for automakers to implement alcohol detection technology on their own. The bill also provides funding for research and development element of advanced alcohol detection software. The legislation will establish a pilot program fleet vehicles equipped with the software including those from federal state and private partners. That means the technology will be tested on vehicles before being mandated for consumers the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA is also also partnering with Automobile Manufacturers to help develop detection systems that can be installed in vehicles the NHTSA will work with the private on motive coalition for traffic safety as well as directly with vehicle manufacturers suppliers and other interested parties including institutions of higher education expertise and automotive engineering to develop the technology not once the pilot program is underway results will initially be evaluated in the first twelve months and again every one hundred and eighty days the target eight for implementing the federally mandated. Technology in. All new vehicles will be no more than two years after the law is enacted as for how it will actually work. We can get some insight from current technology though that doesn't necessarily reflect the future an ignition interlock device or I I D- is essentially a breathalyzer connected to a car's ars ignition system once it's installed the car won't start until someone breathes into. Id with an alcohol. Free Breath. Drivers also can't disconnect the devices uses without damaging the vehicle. It's possible for a driver to trick these devices by having someone else provide the breath sample but the device is also demand rolling samples at regular intervals while the vehicle is in motion. Making it difficult for anyone other than the driver to comply and the statistics show that they work in May of Twenty nineteen mothers against drunk driving announced that in-car breathalyzers stop drivers who were drunk from starting their cars or three million times since two thousand six. That's that's when mad began pushing for ignition interlocks for every drunk driver mad collected. It's data from eleven ignition interlock manufacturers. The data found that. ID's stopped opt almost three hundred and forty eight thousand attempts by drivers with alcohol in their system. In two thousand eighteen alone lifesaver a provider of interlock devices and services says says on its website. That false positives are possible though a triggered by anything from mouthwash to fruit juice to pizza dough in that case a series of lockout periods are triggered before the driver can take another test anywhere from five minutes on up depending on the laws of the state if a rolling sample triggers a failure. The vehicle must be stopped as as soon as possible to pullover safely and failure on a subsequent test after a lockout period. Put the vehicle in a service mode where it must be taken to a service center to be reset that it's unclear whether the laws for federally mandated built in devices would use similar procedures. The Ride Act. Bill does state that the technology will automatically use the blood alcohol content cut off for the jurisdiction where the vehicle is being operated. However the bill does not specify whether the development team is working with existing assisting technology or what form the implementation will take? Also who would pay for all of this. Generally when drivers are required to install an aftermarket. I I D- After a Dui they pay the costs for installation monthly fees for the court mandated monitoring period and the removal fee. At the end of their sentence. These costs can easily add up to thousands of dollars which is not necessarily representative of the cost of the. ID itself since there are different suppliers of these ID's in different areas. Prices can vary and furthermore the monthly fee also includes a monitoring service that records the results of each test to report back to the court if necessary a lifesaver says their pricing is bound by the laws of the states in which they provide their services. It's unclear how. Or if the cost of these devices would be passed on consumers if they become mandated as part of car equipment though the text of Udal in Scott's proposal specifies that federal funding will help pay for the development costs the federal government has already dedicated about fifty million dollars to the project."