The federal infrastructure bill in 2021 included legislation that will help fight drunk driving. A provision to change vehicle requirements for new manufacturing could drastically reduce DWIs.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving cheered the requirements in the bill, indicating they feel it could stop drunk driving completely.
The infrastructure bill requires automakers to include devices in new vehicles that prevent anyone from driving if they are intoxicated. The device would eventually become a mandate on all vehicles. It would be standard safety equipment like seat belts. Buyers will not have to pay extra for the feature, and it will not be optional.
The legislation only applies to new vehicles. It will not require auto manufacturers to install these devices on older vehicles, and it will not punish owners who have vehicles made before the provision was enacted.
Due to this, it will take many years for all vehicles on the roads to have this technology. There are vehicles on the roadways from 20 or 30 years ago still, so it is not unreasonable to believe it could take 30 years to completely change the landscape of vehicles on the road. That means it could be 30 years before the majority of vehicles on the road have this new technology.
Still, even if a fraction of vehicles has this technology, it will make an impact. Drunk driving is so prevalent that being able to stop any person from driving while intoxicated is a win. So, it could be only ten years before the provision starts making an impact and saving lives.