At a congressional hearing in May 2019, the president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving called for automakers to put more effort into making drunk driver prevention systems. Drunk driving is a serious issue, contributing to 29% of all roadway fatalities in Texas and across the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in 2017, there were 11,000 deaths and over 200,000 injuries resulting from drunk driving crashes.
Many automakers have labs that are capable enough of developing prevention technology. Volvo has already announced a prevention system that makes use of cameras and sensors. One group has been working for over a decade on a program called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety. This uses breath- and touch-based systems to determine if a driver’s blood alcohol content is over .08, the legal limit. If it is, the system responds by making the vehicle inoperable.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that over 7,000 lives can be saved every year if such technology becomes fully implemented. It is predicted that breath-based systems may become available by the end of 2020; some groups are already testing vehicles with them. Touch-based systems will likely take longer to be developed. The auto industry must step in because federal funding for this tech expires in 2020.
Driving drunk, besides being a criminal offense, is a form of negligence. When negligence is behind a car accident that involves personal injury, those who incurred the injury and who are not to blame may be able to pursue a car accident case. In this state, anyone can file as long as he or she is 50% or less to blame. Victims who think they have a strong case may want a lawyer to work for them, especially when it comes to negotiations.