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NTSB wants alcohol monitoring devices in all vehicles

The National Transportation Safety Board is a government agency responsible for investigating civil transportation accidents. In the NTSB’s effort to lower accident statistics and traffic-related deaths across the country, they are now recommending all new vehicles include blood alcohol monitoring systems that will prevent an intoxicated person from driving.

While it is true that driving while intoxicated is a dangerous crime, many would understandably feel that the inclusion of an alcohol monitoring device in their vehicle is an invasion of privacy and independence. Learning more about a possible in-vehicle alcohol monitoring device can help drivers know what to expect in the future.

Are there benefits to an in-vehicle alcohol monitoring device?

With other government agencies stating that the number of roadway deaths in the U.S. is indicative of a crisis, the NTSB proposes its in-vehicle alcohol monitoring system as a solution that can save lives and lessen the severity of the alleged crisis. The NHTSA reports 11,654 deaths due to drunk driving in 2020, and it stands to reason that many would be avoidable if the vehicles themselves prevented an intoxicated person from driving.

Will vehicles have alcohol monitoring devices in the future?

In actuality, the NTSB has no regulatory authority with which to enforce its recommendation of equipping new vehicles with blood alcohol monitoring systems. Other government agencies would have to step in to make this suggestion a reality. While it is possible that new vehicles might include alcohol monitoring devices in the next three years, it is also possible that such a policy will meet with resistance.

An in-vehicle alcohol monitoring device could lead to many wrongful DUI arrests. It is important to remember that anyone charged with a DUI, regardless of circumstances, has the right to a full and comprehensive defense.