DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Sept. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Legacy Healing Center is praising the $1 trillion infrastructure bill currently working its way through the US Congress which hopes to integrate new automobile technology that would prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and putting their own and others’ lives at risk.
The preventative measure in the 2,702-page bill is one of many provisions that, if it becomes law as written, will help to save the lives of motorists and passengers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that "smart" anti-impairment technology could save more than 9,000 lives each year.
Alcohol-related causes accounted for around 88,000 annual deaths in recent years, but that number has steadily risen to 95,000 since 2019, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In the same year, 10,000 people died of alcohol-related road deaths, and an estimated 14.5 million Americans were suffering from alcohol use disorder (addiction).
The bill does not specify the technology to be used but would require the US Transportation Department to set new "reasonable, practical, and appropriate" safety standards for anti-drunk driving technology within three years. Automakers would have at least another two years to comply with the standards. The bill also states that the technology should be passive and "monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired."
Systems that have been researched by automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration include ones that monitor a driver’s breathing and eye movements and others that measure blood alcohol levels under the skin via infrared light when a driver touches the steering wheel or engine start button.
The legislation has received the endorsement of advocacy groups, the auto insurance industry, and substance abuse experts like Legacy Healing Center. Legacy is a leading addiction treatment center in Florida and New Jersey and is encouraged by the proposed new legislation stating that the preventative measure will save lives and help mitigate the damage caused by alcohol use disorder giving people the opportunity to recover from the mental health condition.
SOURCE Legacy Healing Center