Alcohol Detectors Could Come Standard With a New Car

The American Beverage Institute claims the ROADS SAFE Act could mandate that all cars have a device that could determine if a driver had been drinking, a device which authors of the bill say doesn't exist today.

The proposed bill seeks funding for developing technology that would be "unobtrusive" to sober drivers.

In some California counties, the courts mandate convicted drunk drivers install an ignition interlock system that requires drivers to blow into the device before starting the cars. Mechanics who work with the Smart Start system say it is calibrated at .03, below the legal alcohol limit because that is the "warning" level for most drivers.

Opponents of the bill say no matter what device is developed, "it would mean you can't have a glass of wine with dinner or a beer at a ballgame," and according to Sarah Longwell of the ABI, "we think people should be able to do that."

Supporters of the bill say their goal is to stop drunk driving, not discourage responsible social drinking.

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