New cars could be fitted with alcohol detection devices as standard in the near future if new legislation is passed.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan has introduced a bill calling for the Federal Government to establish a requirement by 30 September 2024 for drunk driving prevention technology to be introduced on all new vehicles.
The technology would be capable of measuring blood-alcohol concentration in drivers with the vehicle failing to operate if it was detected the concentration was above the legal limit.
Dingell pledged to take action to reduce drunk driving crashes after five members of the Abbas family — both parents and their three children — were killed by a drunk driver while returning home to Michigan from a family vacation in January this year.
“Drunk driving has brought pain to my community in Dearborn and the country,” said Dingell. “Change and progress never come as fast as we’d like, but we need to do everything we can to ensure what happened to the Abbas family never happens again.
“The DADSS technology has the potential to save lives. The HALT Drunk Driving Act honors the Abbas’ family legacy by exploring the use of passive alcohol detection technology in all new cars. I’m committed to continuing to work with advocacy groups, industry, and federal regulators so we can stop drunk driving and ensure the tragedy of the Abbas family never happens again.”
According to the National Safety Council, alcohol impaired driving is one of the biggest safety issues on US roads, killing 10,874 people in 2017.
Honouring Abbas Family Legacy to Terminate (HALT) Drunk Driving Act can be viewed here.