Move over sobriety checkpoints. Soon your vehicle may actually include technology that keeps people from driving impaired.
The U.S. Congress is working on a $78 billion surface transportation bill as part of the larger $1 trillion infrastructure package. The bipartisan bill includes a significant safety provision that will aim to reduce the number of impaired drivers behind the wheel if it becomes law.
The anti–drunk driving portion of the bill is being promoted by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and Representative Debbie Dingell, both Democrats from Michigan.
The bill would establish a new “advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology safety standard.” This standard would go into effect at least three years after the bill is signed and will require new vehicles to have technology that prevents impaired drivers from being able to operate them.
The bill doesn’t specify what kind of anti-impaired driving technology would be part of this standard, just that NHTSA will verify that it’s effective. Currently, ignition-interlock devices with breathalyzers that prevent the driver from starting the car if alcohol is detected are commonly used in the U.S. for those who have been convicted of drunk driving.