The United States house of representatives has been keenly observing the number of DUI accidents regularly. That is why the house decided that it was time to adapt to the latest technologies to prevent any such incidents in the future.
Drunk driving is one of the most common felonies committed in America. And it is considered a serious crime. Statistics show that well over 110 million American adults self-report these incidents. In this age and time of technology, it must be impossible to have such incidents in a perfect world. But we’re not in an ideal world and are just going to have to make the most of it. In those efforts to bring these DUI cases down to as low as possible, there are some latest and state–of–the–art technologies that are being implemented around the globe.
How Can We Significantly Reduce the Number of DUI Accidents in the United States?
Congresswoman Debbie Dingle introduced an act in Congress to help stop drunk driving in honor of the Abbas family, who was killed in 2019 by a drunk driver driving on the wrong side of the highway. The INVEST in America act calls for better regulations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to ensure their regulations are up-to-date and always welcome the latest in the anti-drunk driving devices available. The hope is to reduce DUI accidents significantly.
The act gives the NHTSA the power frequently and regularly update their regulations and make it possible to install anti-drunk driving devices on people’s vehicles. It cuts the bureaucratic red tape regarding rules and gives the administration better access to the latest technologies.
How Can the Latest Technology Help in Reducing Drunk Driving Fatalities?
Currently, several jurisdictions in the U.S employ an interlocking ignition system attached to a breathalyzer that reads your blood alcohol level every time you try to ignite your engine. It also requires you to go through the breath analyzer and frequent intervals to make sure you are not drunk while driving. This is an outdated technology that can be bypassed easily.
In some states, DUI accidents have come down by about 30%. It is simply not enough that we stop there. Hence our need to look for other, better options.
Thus, over 17 automobile manufacturers from the US, together represented by the automotive coalition for traffic safety (ACTS), have partnered with the NHTSA and collaborated with the Driver Alcohol detection system for safety (DADSS) program.
This program aims to overcome the shortcomings of the previously used ignition interlocking system connected to a breathalyzer. It aims to use two different methods to analyze if a driver is physically fit to drive or not. The first is the general breathalyzer test. And the second is a touch test that analyses the driver’s skin and reads their blood alcohol level, and assesses if it is over the legal limit or not.
While it is great to have the government function towards the safety of its citizens, a little help from private players is what makes the difference. Volvo, the car company that invented the seatbelts, plans to have in-car cameras and an array of sensors in their future models to monitor the driver’s physical and mental state in real-time. If the cameras or the sensors pick up something is wrong, they slowly take the can off the road and automatically contact the assistance service to have trained professionals verify the readings and make sure that the person is okay.
The Expected Changes Due to this Latest Legislation
As it currently stands, the alcohol-based detection software and systems are only installed on a case–by–case or voluntary basis. This significantly limits the potential of these devices to save lives on a daily.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has called for a federally mandated regulation to install such devices in all automobiles regardless of any previous history of alcohol abuse. This is a welcome step that can happen as a result of the HALT Act that was passed in July 2021 by the United States House of representatives.
A survey showed that more than two-thirds of drivers were in support of such measures to combat DUI-related incidents in the country.
However, this won’t guarantee the complete elimination of DUI accidents. If you have been charged with a DUI, we are here to help. Contact our expert Greenville DUI defense attorneys today.