Drunk driving takes countless lives every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 million people were arrested for driving under the influence in 2016. But the number of drivers who reported they drove while drunk was much higher at 111 million. That means that under 1% of drivers were arrested when they drove drunk.
The problem here is that so many people are driving under the influence, but very few are actually getting reprimanded for their dangerous actions. Police officers can only be in so many places at once. So what is to stop all these people from driving drunk, even though they clearly know that it’s wrong?
Unfortunately, Kentucky is no different than the rest of the country when it comes to drunk driving. Our state laws consider any driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above to be legally impaired. On top of impaired driving laws, our state requires repeat offenders to install an ignition interlock device to prevent them from driving drunk. But what about all the drunk drivers who don’t get pulled over?
The RIDE Act of 2019
In an attempt to prevent people from driving under the influence, there is a push for federal legislation that would fund safety research. There is a bill in senate called the Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act of 2019 that if passed, would require vehicle manufacturers to include alcohol-detecting devices to be built into vehicles in an attempt to eradicate drunk driving.
This bill was introduced by Senators Tom Udall (NM-D) and Rick Scott (FL-R) and it proposes all new cars and trucks to be made with alcohol detection systems by 2024. As the bill outlines, the devices in the vehicle would detect the driver’s BAC and prevent the car from starting if it exceeds the legal limit of the jurisdiction that the car is located in.
The devices are intended to be passive and mostly unnoticeable, which would make them seem less intrusive than the current ignition interlock systems. Though the exact plans for the device are not mentioned, the intent is that it will precisely detect a driver’s BAC through their breath as soon as they get into the car. Car manufacturers like Jaguar and Volvo have projects with similar motives that use cameras and sensors to monitor the driver’s heartbeat and other actions. The proposed devices will follow a similar format.
The bill is also backed by the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Their president, Helen Witty, brought up a great point to naysayers, arguing, “I don’t think the industry wanted to put in airbags or seat belts.” But look at our safety standards for those now. This could be the next standard that revolutionizes safety and prevents drivers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
The Law Office of Todd W. Burris Can Help
A car accident caused by a drunk driver can change your life. You might have suffered debilitating injuries that are both physical and mental, which can be costly and make you miss work. You’ll want the driver held responsible for their negligence and poor choices, and hiring a lawyer is your best option. In Lexington, the Law Office of Todd Burris can be your legal support in your time of need. Contact us today so that we can start discussing your claim.