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New vehicle technology required with Congress mandate to help stop drunk driving

The newest issue Congress has decided to tackle is a way to keep drunk drivers off the roads. Automakers will now be required to find a way to keep drunk people off the roads using technology.

This is part of the $1 trillion dollar infrastructure package and one of the mandates helped at diminishing impaired driving as deaths due to driving while intoxicated increase.

If passed, beginning in 2026 all new vehicles would have the technology.

Advocates are hopeful for the mandate, saying it will end the leading cause of death on the nation’s roads.

In the first half of 2021 there were an estimated 20,160 deaths caused by drunk driving. The last time the first half of the year was that high was in 2006. Reasons for the spike were less use of seatbelts, impaired driving, and speeding.

Every year there are an average of 10,000 alcohol related deaths which make up 30% of traffic related deaths.

At the moment, technology used for convicted drunk drivers is a breathalyzer, but the wording is not specific for the mandate on what a vehicle will need to identify if a driver is impaired.

Driver assist technology like cameras watching the road or automatic brakes will help to diminish drunk driving by watching for signs.

Related: Infrastructure bill means cars will be required to have alcohol monitoring systems