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New bill could make alcohol detection tech standard on new cars

Drunk driving is an epidemic in Florida, as elsewhere. In fact, 30 people die in drunk driving crashes every day in this country. Many lives can be saved, though, through devices like the ignition interlock device, a breathalyzer that prevents a car from starting up if the driver is found to be intoxicated.

A newly proposed bill, the Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019, could take these technological advances and come up with a device that would become mandatory on all new cars by 2024. If implemented, it would also fund the research and development that would go into making this device, and it would establish the pilot program for testing vehicles carrying the device.

Lawmakers believe that the mandating of alcohol detection systems will help save 7,000 lives every year. Whether they want development teams to make use of existing tech is not certain. What is certain is that the IID, among other devices, has been proven to be effective. Data from 11 IID manufacturers shows that it has prevented drunk drivers from starting their car over three million times since 2006.

By requiring a breath test at regular intervals, the IID also makes it virtually impossible for drivers to trick it. Some glitches do need to be worked out, though.

In the meantime, drivers still have to live up to the duty of staying alert behind the wheel. Whether from alcohol, prescription drugs or lack of sleep, any kind of impairment will raise the risk for car collisions, and impaired drivers will likely be facing a claim afterwards. As for the victims, they may want a lawyer to analyze the case. Third-party investigators may come in to strengthen the case with evidence. The lawyer may then strive for a fair out-of-court settlement.

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