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Feds Push for DUI Detectors in All New Vehicles

NTSB Calls to Have DUI Detection System Installed in All New Cars

A tragic car accident on January 1, 2021, that killed nine people, including seven minors, in Kings County prompted the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) to push for all new vehicles to be equipped with an alcohol-impairment detection system.

The NTSB wants in-car technology that tests all drivers for potential DUI impairment. The recommendation comes after reports on the deadly crash show it was caused by a drunk driver traveling nearly 100 miles per hour.

Details of the Deadly Crash

The deadly accident occurred when the driver, Daniel Luna, slammed head first into a pickup truck on State Route 33 between Avenal and Coalinga. Police said Luna was driving a Dodge Journey SUV, going 98 mph, when he lost control of his car and veered onto the dirt shoulder. He overcorrected and swerved across the center line, colliding head-on with a Ford F-150 pickup truck. The truck instantly erupted into flames, killing all eight people inside, including seven children ages 6 to 15. Luna also died upon impact.

How Technology Can Help Prevent Tragedies

The NTSB said an in-vehicle DUI detector could have stopped the heartbreaking accident mentioned above and can prevent tens of thousands of deaths from impaired and speed-related collisions in the United States each year.

The NTSB said such a DUI detection system is possible and will increase pressure to address drunk-driver safety as vehicle technology improves.

Alcohol Impairment Detection System

The NTSB recommendation suggests transportation officials require advanced driver-monitoring systems, car-integrated alcohol impairment detection systems, or a system capable of limiting vehicle operation if alcohol impairment is detected. The NTSB said auto manufacturers should be encouraged to embrace intelligent speed-adaptation systems to prevent speed-related accidents.

Proponents of the DUI Detection System

Not everyone is on board with an alcohol-impairment detection system. Beverage and restaurant trade groups have opposed the idea, warning that it would leave patrons wondering whether their vehicle would start after having a beer or a glass of wine at dinner. However, the groups do support such devices for repeat DUI offenders. Only about a third of states in the U.S. require first-time DUI offenders to install the devices.

Drunk Driving in California

Driving drunk is irresponsible and contributes to thousands of accidents in California annually. Most drunk driving crashes result from repeat offenders who continue driving impaired despite knowing the risks.

Traffic accidents involving drunk drivers can cause severe injuries, trauma, or wrongful death. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in an accident due to an intoxicated motorist, you would likely be entitled to pursue compensation for your damages and losses.

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. Driving impaired can lead to unfortunate consequences for everyone involved. If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries due to a negligent driver, call our experienced accident lawyers at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice. You can also contact us online.

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