Infrastructure bill mandates anti-drunk driving technology in new vehicles

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HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New technology is coming to vehicles to prevent thousands of drunk driving deaths. An estimated 10,000 deadly car crashes caused by drunk drivers occur each year.

“About 40% of all fatalities on our roads, all crashes are due to impaired driving,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) said.

Blumenthal calls it a moral obligation to stop it from happening. A provision in the infrastructure bill recently signed by President Joe Biden is credited with giving motorists an extra layer of protection.

“A provision that will require implementation of technology, detecting, and potentially stopping vehicles when they are impaired drivers,” Blumenthal said.

Members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) call the bipartisan piece of legislation a victory.

”It’s probably the most important act that MADD has been a part of in its 40-year history,” Bob Garguilo, MADD’s regional director said.

Erin and Larry Hermann, advocates of the legislation, lost their son, Kyle, in a drugged driving crash more than three years ago.

“My feelings began to unfold, from sincere hope for the future and for those familiar raw emotions again, because it took that scab right off,” Erin Hermann said.

The new technology will have monitors that not only gauge the performance of the driver.

“If it’s swerving on the road, or of the head and eyes of the drive,r and sensors that detect whether there’s alcohol coming from the driver,” Blumenthal said.

Vehicles equipped with the new technology will start rolling off the assembly line as early as 2026, saving nearly 10,000 lives annually in the process.

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