Proposed Federal Laws Would Make Ignition Interlock Devices Standard in all New Cars

A futuristic looking picture of an Aston Martin car, signifying the vehicles of the future, and what people envision them looking like.
Ask anyone what the cars of the future will be like, and they’ll probably talk about flying. But a much more realistic version of tomorrow’s vehicles is that they’ll include built-in ignition interlock devices.

The issue of ignition interlock devices has caused a great deal of controversy in the past. Is it fair to expect someone convicted of a DUI to assume the financial cost of such an expensive device simply in order to drive to and from work? On the other hand, is it fair to other drivers to allow convicted drunk drivers to continue driving without enforced accountability? There are valid points on both sides of the argument, but a recently proposed federal law aims to make them all moot points in the future.

A US House Rep from Michigan has proposed a new law…

U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, (a Democrat from Michigan) has proposed legislation that would make ignition interlock devices standard features in every new car rolling off the lot in the US. Rep. Dingell announced her proposed legislation during a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, where she pointed out that drunk driving is the largest cause of traffic fatalities in the U.S.

She was inspired by a tragedy that cost one Michigan family their lives…

“In January, our community was devastated by the passing of the Abbas family,” Dingell said. “Around the country, too many will be torn away from their families and loved ones because of the stupid actions of others.” All five members of the Abbas family were killed by a drunk driver in Kentucky as they were headed back home to Michigan after a family vacation in Florida this past January. The drunk driver – 41-year-old Joey Bailey of Georgetown, Kentucky who was also killed in the crash, had a BAC of .306. (which would have made him ‘super drunk‘ under Michigan’s drunk driving laws.)

Dingell believes we can do better to prevent these tragedies…

“Drunk driving is avoidable and preventable.” Dingell said at the hearing. “Congress, industry and safety groups must work together and do everything we can to enhance safety and stop drunk driving.” Her proposal, which has received support from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), because they say it lines up with one of the key elements they believe is required to eliminate drunk driving – early detection.

So how would this new proposed law affect the auto industry?

Dingell’s legislation calls for the standardization of The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADDS) – a passive alcohol detection system – to be installed in all new cars. The system passively tests all drivers for intoxication, and immobilizes the vehicle if the driver tests positive for a BAC higher than .08, which is the legal limit in every US state except Utah. If passed, Dingell’s legislation would force DADSS out of the development stages and into use, requiring that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) begin the process of regulating its use and installment.

Would DADSS reduce drunk driving convictions in Michigan?

As to that question, we have no idea. Only time will tell how effective this technology will be at preventing drunk driving. However, one thing we’re sure of is that if you’re charged with a drunk or drugged driving related crime here in Michigan, one thing that really can make a difference is who your defense attorney is. An aggressive and experienced DUI defense lawyer may help you get a reduced sentence, incarceration alternatives, and even sometimes avoid conviction altogether. So if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, call 866 7NO JAIL right now and protect your future. Our drunk driving defense team is top rated and can be reached 24 / 7 at 1 866 766 5245

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