Alcohol Detectors Could Come Standard With a New Car
A new law under consideration would call for installation of a device that would allow six violations before stalling the car
By VIKKI VARGAS and JULIE BRAYTON
Updated 7:55 AM PST, Fri, Mar 11, 2011 | Print
It's called "The Roads Safe Act" and opponents claim it's designed to put an alcohol detector in every car, just like an airbag or stereo.
Currently ignition interlock systems are only installed by court order.
Mechanics who work with the Smart Start System say you don't have to be over the legal limit to stall out.
"Normally what they should calibrate it at .03. I believe for most people that's the warning level," said Garrett Benedict, a mechanic.
The device allows six violations, then the car won't start at all.
Experts say it is also set up to make sure drivers don't try to cheat.
"They make you blow into it while you're driving, therefore somebody doesn't blow into it at the bar for you, and then you leave," said Benedict.
The American Beverage Institute has gone on record saying alcohol detectors should only be used for drunk drivers, not everyone.
"This is going to eliminate peoples ability to have a glass of wine at dinner, have a beer at a ball game and then drive home. That's our concern, because that' something we think people should be able to do," states Sarah Longwell of the American Beverage Institute.
The proposed bill would make $60 million available over the next five years to develop new devices, such as technology which would measure blood alcohol content by touching the steering wheel, or even an ignition button.
"I think it’s a great idea. It will keep everybody safe. It'll keep all the alcoholics home," according to Julio Gonzalez, a customer.