Infrastructure Bill Mandates Anti-Drunk Driving Technology In New Cars

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that Congress passed last week – and that President Biden is expected to sign on Monday –  includes a provision that will require all new vehicles sold in the U.S. to come equipped with anti-drunk driving technology.

The bill calls for all new vehicles to have “Advanced Impaired Driving Technology” installed.

“It’s novel technology that will be able to measure your either breath or blood alcohol concentration — very rapidly with high precision and accuracy — without you doing anything that you aren’t doing now, when you’re interacting with your car,” Robert Strassburger, president and CEO of the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, told MarketWatch.

“If you are over the legal limit, or some other limit that you might set, it would not allow the car to start, or the car would start but not move, or give you a warning, depending on how it’s integrated into a vehicle,” Stassburger continued.

Reuters reports the provision would direct U.S. regulators to mandate a passive technology to prevent intoxicated drivers from starting vehicles.

The bill would require the U.S. Transportation Department to set a technology standard within three years and give automakers at least another two years to comply, Reuters said.

While the bill does not specify the exact technology to use, it said it must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.”

Cars with built-in alcohol-detection systems could save as many as 9,000 lives in the U.S, according to a 2020 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Bloomberg also reports other parts of the bill would mandate automatic emergency braking, the inclusion of crash avoidance systems in new cars and alerts that would remind drivers to check the back seats of their vehicle after exiting it.

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