New cars may soon be equipped with alcohol detection tech

| Jan 3, 2020 | Uncategorized |

Drivers in Pennsylvania are, no doubt, aware that drunk driving is a public health concern. Every day in the U.S., an average of 30 people die in drunk driving crashes. This equates to 1 fatality every 48 minutes. However, a bill has been introduced in Congress that, if passed, could set into motion a program that would prevent some 7,000 drunk driving fatalities a year.

The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019 proposes to fund the development of an alcohol detection system for all vehicles. It would also fund the pilot program that tests this system. Once it is ready, it would be implemented on all new cars by 2024.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already partnered with several automakers to develop such technology. The bill does not provide many details regarding the implementation process, so it is not certain if development teams would use existing technology.

One alcohol detection system has proven its effectiveness, so it will no doubt influence development teams. The ignition interlock device consists of a breathalyzer connected to a car’s ignition. Drivers are required to pass the breath test before starting their cars, and they must give “rolling samples” of their breath while the car is in motion.

Until such technology becomes mandatory for all vehicles, there will be many drunk driving crashes and, with them, many personal injury cases to be pursued. Victims of drunk drivers may sue not only for compensatory damages but also for punitive damages, which are supposed to punish the defendants. To see how much they are eligible for, victims may schedule a legal evaluation. A lawyer may help further by gathering evidence and handling settlement negotiations.