blog DUI Breaking Down President Biden’s DUI Prevention Technology Requirements

Breaking Down President Biden’s DUI Prevention Technology Requirements

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on May 15, 2022

Cars that detect whether their driver is intoxicated will soon become commonplace in the United States under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, recently signed by President Biden. Below we have summarized all you need to know about Biden’s innovative strategy to reduce drunk or impaired driving casualties in the U.S.

If you are facing a DUI or DWAI charge in Colorado, call the experienced defense attorneys at Whitaker & Penix, LLC, today at (970) 368-0602 for a free consultation.

What is the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act?

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act puts into law an over $1 trillion infrastructure package, authorizing improvements to a range of services, including roads and road safety, bridges, airports, transit options, drinking water, and wastewater infrastructure.

The bill was passed on November 5th, 2021 and signed into law by President Biden ten days later, becoming Public Law 117-58. A significant focus of the bill is on improving road safety, and one aspect of this is addressing drunk or impaired driving.

Addressing Drunk or Impaired Driving

Drunk or impaired drivers account for a drastic proportion of road casualties each year in developed countries. Under the heading “driving technology,” the Infrastructure Act outlines the scope of this problem in the States.

The Act highlights that alcohol-impaired driving fatalities represent approximately 1/3 of all annual highway fatalities in the United States and records that there were 10,142 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2019 where the driver had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.8 or higher.

To attempt to reduce the prevalence of drunk or impaired driving, the Act presents a modern solution requiring that “advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology” becomes “standard equipment in all new passenger motor vehicles.”

Although the specific details of this technology are not provided, the Act states that it will “passively monitor” a driver’s performance to determine whether they are impaired or will “passively and accurately” detect whether a driver’s blood alcohol level is greater than the legal driving limits. Where impairment is detected, the technology will “prevent or limit” motor-vehicle use.

When Will These Changes Occur?

Under the Act, all “new” vehicles are required to have this advanced drunk or impaired driving technology. A few sections dictate when this requirement will take full effect. Within three years of the Act’s enactment, the Secretary must issue a final law requiring passenger motor vehicles manufactured after its effective date to install drunk or impaired driving detection technology. To allow sufficient time for manufacturers to comply, they will be given 2-3 years from the date the law becomes effective to have this technology installed in all new cars.

All of this means that drunk or impaired driving detection technology could become standard in newly manufactured cars as soon as November 2026. However, there are provisions allowing for these time frames to be adjusted if required.

What Will This Technology Be?

The type of technology that will be utilized and how it will work is yet to be determined. DADSS, the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Research Program, is developing two methods of passively detecting a driver’s blood-alcohol concentration that could be adopted.

One of these methods is an unobtrusive breathalyzer that simply requires the driver to enter the car and breathe normally. The other method utilizes “touch technology,” measuring the blood alcohol content in a driver’s capillaries using an infrared light.

Whitaker & Penix, LLC Defense Attorneys

The defense attorneys at Whitaker & Penix, LLC are experienced when it comes to defending DUI or DWAI offenses. Call us today at (970) 368-0602 so we can help you.

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