The infrastructure spending bill now pending before the United States Senate contains a provision requiring that all manufacturers selling cars in the Unites States install technology that will preclude the vehicle from being operated by an intoxicated driver. This provision was sponsored by Michigan’s Rep. Debbie Dingell, D, among others.
According to the 2702-page bill, the Department of Transportation will be charged with the responsibility to determine the safety standards applicable to the technology and are required to do so within three years. Car manufacturers will then be given an additional two years to comply with these standards. However, if the DOT fails to finalize the rules within 10 years, the agency must report to the US Congress why they failed to comply.
There is little guidance in the bill relative to how the DOT should exercise their authority other than to say that whatever technology they settle on should “passively” and “accurately” monitor a driver’s performance and determine whether the driver is impaired. Furthermore, the technology must “passively and accurately detect whether the blood alcohol concentration of the driver of a motor vehicle” is too high.