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New cars may soon be equipped with alcohol detection tech

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2019 | Car Accidents |

Drivers in New Jersey should know that lawmakers have proposed a bill in both houses of Congress that could do much toward curbing drunk driving. After all, drunk driving crashes kill an average of 30 people every day in this country.

The bill is called Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019, and it intends to fund the development and testing of a new alcohol detection system, which automakers would then be required to install on all cars by 2024. Lawmakers say that implementing such a system would save 7,000 lives every year. Still, the details of the implementation process have been sparse. It is unclear, for example, if development teams are to work off of existing technology.

There is one piece of tech that has proven to be successful in preventing drunk driving: the ignition interlock device. Many states have a law requiring DUI offenders to install one in their vehicle. The IID is a breath test connected to the car’s ignition, and it prevents the car from starting if the driver’s BAC is above the legal limit. Since 2006, it has averted over 3 million attempts made by drunk drivers to start their vehicles.

Other ways of detecting alcohol use exist. Volvo will be installing cameras to this purpose, and some engineers are developing touch sensors.

When car collisions involve a drunk driver, they can easily form the basis for a case under not just criminal law but also personal injury law. Innocent victims are entitled to compensation for losses like medical expenses, pain and suffering and the income lost during the physical recovery. They may even sue for punitive damages, but this is a matter that victims may wish to discuss with an attorney. Legal representation is recommended, especially for the negotiation stage.