Drunk driving poses a serious threat to people on the roads in Florida. Each day of the year, around 30 people lose their lives in collisions linked to drunk driving. In 2017 alone, one person was killed every 48 minutes by someone driving under the influence. Widespread public awareness campaigns have raised attention to the dangers of drunk driving, which has become increasingly socially unacceptable. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits have been lowered over the years. As a result, drunk-driving fatalities have declined by over 33% in the past 30 years.
Florida is one of more than 20 states that have laws requiring individuals convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol to fit ignition interlock systems to their vehicles. Drivers breathe into interlock devices before turning the ignition key, and their vehicles will refuse to start if even small traces of alcohol are detected. A bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would make the technology mandatory on every car, SUV, minivan and pickup truck sold in America.
Drivers in Florida will soon have more options to combat drunk driving. Volvo has announced that it plans to install technology in its cars that may help prevent crashes caused by drunk driving. The company plans to put the technology in its cars in the early 2020s.
Forty percent of all traffic crashes in Florida and the rest of the U.S. are caused by alcohol and mind-impairing drugs. Alcohol can impair a person's motor skills, judgment, and reaction times, and that effect is even greater on those under the age of 21, who are still physically developing.