Infrastructure Bill Mandates Alcohol Interlock Tech

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alcohol interlock

The infrastructure bill on bridges and tunnels being debated in the US Senate at present includes a mandate for car makers to include technology in new automobiles that prevents a car from starting if the driver is drunk.

The bill is not specific about what type of technology would be used and so there is no mandate to require the breathalyzers currently in use. For example, there is technology that might be used in touch sensors on a steering wheel or ignition start button to detect alcohol levels.

The Senate bill says only that the technology must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired,” said Reuters.

However the bill states that any requirements by the DOT for interlocks must be “reasonable” and “practical.”

The current $1 trillion infrastructure bill, if passed, would require the Dept. of Transportation to create a safety standard on OEM interlocks of some type within 3 years. It would then give car makers another two years to comply.  So that is at least five years out.  The bill adds that if rules aren’t finalized within 10 years, the DOT must report to Congress.

About a third of US traffic deaths involve impaired driving, amounting to about 10,000 fatalities a year.

About 1 million people a year are arrested for driving under the influence, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Sources: Reuters, CNET


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  1. I think it’s a great idea but the state and local municipalities would sure be losing. Out on a lot of money so therefore I don’t ever see it happening

  2. great if you want a show room full of people with mental and substance abuse problems. not for me.

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