Safety advocates push for ignition interlock for drunk drivers in all new vehicles

Safety advocates have pushed for all new vehicles to be equipped with a device that would automatically shut off the ignition if the driver were found to be too intoxicated to drive. The ignition interlock equipment uses a breathalyzer-type test. The proposal’s advocates were addressing a House consumer protection and commerce subcommittee.

Joan Claybrook, a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wants the technology in all new vehicles as soon as three years from now. She said the technology has existed since 2006. Congress has discussed making it mandatory before.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) also pushed the committee to require the technology. Claybrook said putting the device in all new vehicles could save as many as 7,000 lives a year.

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