House Bill 3684 and Drunk Driving: Are Safer Roads in Our Future?

Despite headlines of doom and gloom on your favorite streaming service or news app, it’s no secret that the world is much safer today than it has been in years past. In the past century, hundreds of pages of legislation have been passed aimed at establishing guidelines for protecting citizens at work, at home, and while traveling. Still, American roads are becoming more dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that road deaths rose by 18.4% in the first half of 2021 alone. This statistic sparked new concerns of highway safety and prompted an examination of the causes of this sharp increase.

It’s no secret that drunk driving is a widespread problem that impacts individuals and families every day. Undertaking statistical studies of highway deaths, accidents, and alcohol, Congress concluded in 2021 that approximately 1/3 of all highway fatalities involve alcohol-impaired driving. In 2019, there were 10,142 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. It’s difficult to understate the heartbreaking reality of this statistic.

Thankfully, in 2021, House Bill 3684 was passed. This bill contains what Alex Otte, the current leader of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calls the “beginning of the end of drunk driving.” Section 24- 220 of the bill requires car manufacturers to begin installing anti-drunk driving equipment on all new vehicles produced as early as 2025. The “equipment” as defined by the legislation will be “a system that can passively monitor the performance of a driver to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired and prevent or limit motor vehicle operation if impairment is detected.” This means that your new vehicle will come complete with anti-drunk driving equipment, which will automatically detect impairment as soon as you get into the driver’s seat.

Despite complaints from car manufacturers, Congress estimates that this new equipment will reduce highway fatalities by 9,400 a year. That is an almost 90% reduction in alcohol-related car fatalities! The attorneys at Becker Law Office have fought for decades against drunk drivers. We have seen the toll drunk driving takes on victims and their families. So, we are thankful for the efforts of those who worked on this law and look forward to a safer future.