New cars may soon have tech to detect if you're drunk
In what could come as a somber boost to measures to prevent drunk driving, the US Senate will soon vote on a crucial infrastructure bill which, among other points, seeks to have new cars mandated to provide drunk-driver-detecting technology. Aimed at curbing instances of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) - a serious offense in the US and one which attracts extremely harsh penalties, the move could see a strong deterrent to anyone who may choose to turn on ignition after a peg or two, or more.
According to a report in Bloomberg, the infrastructure bill which lists out several safety measures is set for a vote in the US Senate. Those in favour of having technology prevent drivers under the influence from moving on roads state that such a technology could outright stop offenders rather than deter them as existing penalties do. Prevention, some say, is better than cure.
As per data released this June by US' National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 38,000 deaths due to road accidents in 2020. Numbers from previous years have shown than DUI is a major reason for deaths on roads. As per US' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10,497 people died in the country due to alcohol-impaired driving accidents and that this was 28% of all road-accident-related deaths here.
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And even if the pandemic has meant that fewer people are driving than before, the more recent numbers remain a grave source of concern. This is because someone guilty of DUI is not just putting his or her life in peril but that of other occupants who may be in the vehicle as well as fellow motorists and pedestrians.
Backers of a DUI-recognizing technology in modern vehicles go to the extent of even saying that for all the new-age safety features in today's cars, the benefits could potentially be negated if the driver is under the influence of alcohol.