In Arizona, drunk driving offenders may have ignition interlock devices or IIDs installed on their vehicles. These devices are essentially car breathalyzers. The device tests the driver’s BAC and the driver cannot start the vehicle if he or she is over the legal limit. Some Congress members and safety advocates believe that there is more that the government can do to reduce the amount of drunk driving on the road.
One solution raised is that all cars could have IIDs installed. According to Government Technology, drunk driving fatalities are up to more than 10,000 per year and have sparked debate on IID technology for all vehicles.
Over the last decade, the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety has worked on a more advanced technology. Currently, IIDs involve breathing into a tube to test blood alcohol. The devices proposed are ones that may prevent the car from starting based on passive testing. For instance, it may test the blood alcohol through natural breathing behind the wheel or a system that tests BAC through an infrared light.
While automakers do not advocate for the tests to be mandatory, some safety advocates believe that the interlock devices should be.
Advocates argue that interlock devices have a similar function to air bags. In addition to IIDs, automated vehicles may also aid in the fight against drunk driving. Where some believe that IIDs in all cars will increase safety, others argue that it is a reach for Congress to force high cost requirements on automakers and customers.
The above information is intended to be educational and not legal advice.