When the president signed the infrastructure bill in 2021, he moved forward with the effort to curb drunk driving. Included in the $1.2 trillion legislation was a provision that would change requirements for features on vehicles in the future.
The Washington Post explained advocates against drunk driving noted this provision would alter the future and potentially end drunk driving eventually.
The part of the bill that is getting recognition requires all automakers to build their vehicles with equipment that would detect a drunk driver and prevent him or her from driving the vehicle. This would become a standard part of the vehicle.
Despite the bill requirements, there is not likely to be much of an impact quickly. The bill allows time to finalize the rule and set the requirements. Regulators have until 2024 to do this. Then, there is time allowed for the industry to make the changes and introduce the vehicles. So, ideally, the new autos with this technology would roll out in 2025. Still, this does not mean the end to drunk driving as soon as this happens. Older vehicles still do not have the technology and would not have to have it. This only applies to new autos.
Since vehicles stay in rotation for decades after their introduction, it is likely that most vehicles on the roads for at least the next decade would not have the new technology, making a limited effect from this new provision. It could be decades before it really begins to make a difference. Despite this, the future is likely to have safer roadways because of the regulation.