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Are alcohol monitors about to become standard on new cars?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2021 | car accidents |

Despite the efforts of law enforcement agencies around the country, drunk driving remains a major problem on U.S. roadways. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports someone dies in an alcohol-related crash every 52 minutes.

For years, Californians who drive under the influence of alcohol have had to install monitoring devices on their vehicles. If a provision of the current infrastructure package becomes law, all new motor vehicles sold in the U.S. will eventually have similar technology.

The infrastructure bill

Recently, a bipartisan trillion-dollar infrastructure bill passed the U.S. Senate. While much of this plan addresses crumbling highways, roads and bridges, a small part aims to prevent alcohol-related crashes. Even though the U.S. House of Representatives passed a related measure earlier, the two versions must go to a conference committee for reconciliation. Then, the president must sign the reconciled measure into law after it again passes both houses of Congress.

The alcohol-monitoring requirement

The monitoring proposal inside the infrastructure bill would require automakers to come up with passive monitoring technology for all new vehicles by 2026. This technology would, in theory, automatically determine whether a driver’s blood alcohol concentration is below the legal limit. If not, the technology would prevent the vehicle from moving.

While the provision to require alcohol monitoring has not yet become law, there is a good chance it is headed there. Ultimately, depending on how automakers comply with the requirement, alcohol-related crashes may decline in the next decade and beyond. Follow us on Facebook to get the latest news and updates from Spencer and Associates.