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All new cars may soon detect alcohol intoxication in drivers

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2019 | Car Accidents |

Every day in West Virginia and across the U.S., 30 people die in drunk driving car accidents. This amounts to one person every 48 minutes. Drunk driving is a serious epidemic, but there is technology out there that can help combat it. A bill was introduced in Congress that, if implemented, would take advantage of this tech and possibly save 7,000 lives every year.

The bill has been named the Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019, and it would mandate the installation of alcohol detection systems on all new cars by 2024. It would fund the research and development toward this end and establish the pilot program to test those devices that result from it. It is unclear if development teams would use existing tech, but the chances are high that they would.

There is, for instance, the ignition interlock device. It’s a breathalyzer connected to the car’s ignition, and it will only let the car start if the driver breathes an alcohol-free breath into it. To avoid any trickery, the IID requires breath tests on a recurring basis while the car is in motion.

IIDs are a proven success, and DUI offenders are forced to install them in many states. Since 2006, they have prevented drunk drivers from starting their cars over three million times.

Drunk drivers who cause a crash usually face not only criminal charges but also personal injury claims. Victims might file against drivers’ insurance companies, and they may come after drivers themselves, especially if they seek punitive damages. Whatever the nature of the crash, it may be wise to see a lawyer before moving forward with anything. Personal injury lawyers often have networks of investigators and other third parties to gather proof of negligence and build up a case in other ways.