Could alcohol detectors become a mandatory new feature in all new cars?

06/02/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

Washington, D.C.– A bill is being pushed to make alcohol detectors mandatory in all new vehicles, which is causing others to fight back, calling the technology a “war on alcohol.” Lawmakers are now debating on whether to make the alcohol devices a new feature in every new vehicle, as reported by KXAN.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who is pushing for the legislation, contended the alcohol detection technology in cars could greatly reduce drunk driving—especially for repeat offenders. The bill is part of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010.

Government officials have already began to fund research for the new detection technology, which included sweat sensors on steering wheels, devices in mirrors, which will scan a driver’s eyes and sniffer devices that can detect the smell of alcohol. Sponsors of the legislation are hoping to give $60 million in federal funding to make the devices a standard equipment feature in new cars in the next five to 10 years.

Opponents of the legislation, like the American Beverage Institute (ABI), assert that the devices should only be installed in vehicles of repeat offenders and not in every vehicle as standard equipment, although the legislation doesn’t include such a mandate. Sarah Longwell, ABI Managing Director says, “That means no more beer at ball games, no more wine at dinner, no more champagne toasts at a wedding—this would be the back door to prohibition in this country.”

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for government lawyers.

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