Rep. Steve Israel, D-Huntington, called on on Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last week to expedite funds for a new federal program aimed at curbing drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.
New technology is being developed for placement in cars in the program that would calculate blood alcohol levels in two ways – through a new touch-based system and a more advanced version of today’s breath-based systems. The $10.5 million in the project's research would be provided under the Surface Transportation bill, passed by Congress Friday.
Over 10,000 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but only 2 percent of drunk drivers are caught in the act. While national DWI fatality rates have been dropping, according to The Century Council, a fatality rate of zero is the ultimate goal. The proposed technology will make it virtually impossible to drive while intoxicated.
Do you think more legislation is needed to curb drunk driving? What else can be done to prevent people from drinking and driving, or to mitigate accidents when it's too late? Tell us in the comments.