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Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

Proposed bill would mandate drunk driving technology in cars

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2021 | Wrongful Death |

Car dealer showrooms in Florida and around the country could soon feature technology designed to prevent drunk driving. If passed and signed into law, the Abbas Stop Drunk Driving Act will require carmakers to include Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety technology in all of their passenger vehicles. The bill, which is expected to garner bipartisan support, has attracted support from a coalition of road safety and anti-drunk driving groups.

Tragic accident

The Abbas Stop Drunk Driving Act is named after a Michigan family killed in a drunk driving accident in January 2019. A married couple and their three children lost their lives when a pickup truck that was driving the wrong way struck their vehicle head-on. Subsequent toxicology tests revealed that the 41-year-old man behind the wheel of the pickup truck had a blood alcohol concentration of .306%.

Touch and breath sensors

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety would have prevented the man’s pickup truck from starting. The technology uses sensors to detect alcohol in the air inside vehicles and infrared light to measure alcohol in the skin. It is being developed and tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety. The testing is being monitored by a group of independent engineers and scientists.

Touch and breath sensors

Relatives of the married couple and children killed in the accident that inspired the proposed law have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the establishments that served alcohol to the pickup truck driver. Experienced personal injury attorneys in Florida may initiate this kind of litigation under the state’s dram shop law when bars or restaurants serve alcohol to a person they know to have addiction problems. Attorneys may also file wrongful death lawsuits against drunk drivers or their insurance companies.

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