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Drunken driving has been a problem since the earliest days of motoring. Drivers who’ve had too much to drink are a danger to everyone on the road. One careless move can result in catastrophic accidents. However, advancements in technology aim to reduce or eliminate incidents of driving while under the influence.
The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019 is new legislation that provides funding to develop advanced alcohol detection, as well as applying pressure on automakers to install it in new cars by 2024.
Alcohol Detection Systems May Soon Be Standard
Technology introduced by the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Research Program will roll out in cars in 2022 and 2023 and will become standard the year after.
The significant benefit is that drivers who register a BAC level of 0.08 or higher won’t be able to start their car. Instead of being able to get behind the wheel and risk their or other’s lives, it alters the potential chain of events that come afterward.
How Does the Detection System Work?
Several competing models are vying to become the preferred detection system for blood alcohol content levels.
The first is a classic blow into a tube-style alcohol detection system that’s used extensively by law enforcement. An alternative detection system analyzes the air quality in the cabin, sensing for indicators of too much alcohol consumption. A few other methods are in discussion.
Whatever the technology is, the detection system will need to prove itself reliable to avoid giving false positives that prohibit sober motorists from driving.
What Are the Drawbacks?
The primary drawback is for sober drivers who must use an intrusive system to start their vehicles. In the event of false-negative readings brought on by drunk passengers perhaps, they would be unable to operate their vehicle. That’s why there’s a several-year lead up to before formally launching this feature in new cars. Not only will customers have to bear the additional cost of the equipment, but it could also be a nuisance to teetotalers and those who don’t drink and drive.
The Move Will Save Lives
According to official numbers from the NHTSA, 30 people die each day in fatal collisions involving alcohol. Initiatives over the decades have attempted to change people’s habits and behaviors, but none have proven effective. That’s why the new generation of solutions will involve automatic compliance and technological enforcement of the law.
The Legislation Is Controversial
The proposed legislation is causing controversy for several reasons. Non-drinkers will have to pay more for cars to purchase technology that’s meaningless for them. Critics argue that people will routinely and quickly bypass the technology to continue drinking and driving.
If you are involved in an alcohol or non-alcohol related car accident in the Newburyport, MA area, talk to the team at Shepard’s Automotive Center about your autobody collision repair needs. Contact us online or by phone at 978-465-5973 during business hours: 8 AM – 5 PM Monday through Friday. We help you solve your automotive repair needs when you need them.