MADD applauds highway bill for including money for alcohol detection in cars

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The transportation bill was approved by both chambers of Congress by wide margins last Friday.

In addition to the incentives for states to implement interlock laws for drivers who have been convicted of drunken driving, the bill includes funding for research for less intrusive alcohol detection methods through the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program.

Both provisions in the bill were opposed before the measure was approved by the lobbying group for restaurants that have permits to serve alcohol to their customers.

“DADSS supporters claim the alcohol detectors would be voluntary and set at 0.08, but there is a growing mountain of evidence showing that their true goal is to put alcohol sensing technology in all cars as original equipment, set well below the 0.08 level,” American Beverage Institute (ABI) Managing Director Sarah Longwell said in a statement before last week's vote.

“Even if these alcohol detection devices were manufactured to be reliable 99.99966 percent of the time, it would still mean over 4,000 misreadings per day,” Longwell continued. “That means every day, thousands of sober drivers could find their cars locked down by a faulty interlock.”
 
ABI said it was urging Congress to "reject the activist campaign to put alcohol detectors in all cars and reserve ignition interlocks as punishment for hardcore offenders who benefit most from the devices."