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Congress proposes vehicle technology to prevent drunk driving

Being arrested for drunk driving in Kansas can lead to serious consequences. People who are confronted with these allegations might face jail time, fines, a license suspension and other penalties. While law enforcement is actively seeking to stop and arrest drivers who might be under the influence, there are other ways in which legislators advocate DUI prevention with technology automatically installed in new vehicles.

A bipartisan push in Congress hopes to require automakers to install a system to detect whether the driver has been using alcohol. These would be required additions by 2024. The proposed law, Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019 (RIDE), also provides funding for various testing procedures to track the blood-alcohol level in the driver's system.

Technological advances are viewed as a viable strategy to make the roads safer. Other innovations, such as requiring convicted drunk drivers to pass breathalyzer tests before their vehicle will start, have been successful in some states. There has been a notable reduction in DUI deaths in the past three decades. However, statistics show that around 1 in 3 traffic fatalities is due to drunk driving. There were more than 10,800 such deaths in 2017, so it is still worrisome.

Safety proposals generally sound beneficial for safety, but it is reasonable for people whose vehicles are stopped as part of a drunk driving investigation to be aware of how technology can impact them. Law enforcement must follow certain procedures when testing drivers and making an arrest. An in-vehicle system used for evidence could result in false positives, just like inaccurate breath tests and unfair field sobriety tests might. For people who are arrested for drunk driving, it may be wise to call a law firm experienced in providing a defense to combat the charges.

Source: Kansas Public Radio, "A Push To Have Cars Say 'No' To Drunk Drivers," Vanessa Romo, Oct. 21, 2019

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