Cracking down on drink driving the American way


The Americans think they’ve sussed out how to crack down on drink driving in the United States – and surprisingly it doesn’t involve shooting anyone.

According to a report in Reuters, a new push towards fitting devices in new cars for sale in the US could possibly cut back on something like 85 per cent of alcohol related deaths. The new initiative could end up not only saving tens of thousands of lives, but it could also result in major savings in the form of injury-related costs and even car insurance or van insurance premiums.

So there’s no saying when or if such an initiative would make its way across the pond here, but the Yanks seem to think that fitting cars with alcohol interlocks is one of the best way to stop drink driving. In fact, the American Journal of Public Health thinks using brand-new tech to prevent cars and vans from being driven could stop more than 59,000 fatalities, more than one and a quarter million non-fatal injuries, and something like $340 billion in medical and court costs.

Fitting cars with interlocks after drink driving offence is a good way to keep people off the road that you know are miserable drunks, but it doesn’t do anything for those that fly under the radar – or for first offences. This is why the idea of making new interlock technology standard on new cars makes it a much better option in preventing drink driving completely – or at least much more effectively.

Honestly it sounds like a brilliant idea, especially if it’s adopted across all 50 states and not just a few here and there. If it proves effective, it could easily be brought across to other countries – and with drink driving a threat wherever you go and whoever you might be it’s probably not such a bad idea to get it over here in the UK. I don’t know about you but I know a few blokes that like to go down to their local and have a few pints in the evenings, only to attempt to motor home even though they’re three sheets to the wind, simply because they can’t be arsed to take public transport – or they think they can “handle it.”

Yes, well that’s all well and good until you get nicked for drink driving isn’t it? And you better hope you’re stopped by the police instead of wrapping yourself around a tree or striking some poor bicyclist or pedestrian.

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