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More Legislation Needed to Address Drunk Driving?

Congressman urges Transportation Secretary to sign off on $10.5 million for anti-DWI technology.

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.

MrsE July 09, 2012 at 07:07 PM
No more legislation that penalizes the law abiding driver and does very little to deter the law breaker. The law breaker will always find a way around these deterents because that is what they do. In the mean time the rest of us are force fed costly technology and the cost of a safe reliable vehichle becomes more and more unaffordable.
Mary Silberstein July 10, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Although legislation can be helpful, the real help comes from funding services to prevent and treat the problem. We are seeing less and less services and more and more cuts. We fail to look at new ways to fund these services such as a penny a beer tax, or other ideas. We also fail to see that the community is also responsible in reducing underage drinking. Check out the Northport/East Northport Community Drug and Alcohol Task Force FB page or the Northport Community Book Club FB page.

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