LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed Congress Friday night, and President Joe Biden’s signature is expected to follow soon.
Part of that package is something the president of Mothers of Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says could have prevented the tragedy involving ex-Raider Henry Ruggs III in Las Vegas last week.
When officials said Ruggs was driving drunk last week when he caused a fatal crash, many mulled over solutions to this bigger problem, lamenting that drunk-driving tragedies are too common — and preventable.
“We can’t go back and truly it does come down to personal choice,” said Alex Otte, National President, MADD. “We know that he made a choice, and that choice took a away a life and ruined so many others, including his own.”
But when the president signs the infrastructure bill into law, a personal choice to drive drunk may just take a back seat.
It would put drunk-driving prevention technology in all new vehicles, as standard as seatbelts or airbags, said Otte.
A mandate for this technology is something Otte and her team have been advocating for, with the mission of “no more victims.”
“If it detects impairment, the car will either not start, not move, or will pull itself over,” said Otte.
So how does it work? In a few ways: automakers would be required to either install sensors that would passively monitor a driver’s breath, eye-movements or unusual driving activity, or they would need to measure their sweat.
“Alcohol detection technology has sensors, for example, in the start button or the steering wheel that would measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s sweat,” said Otte.
The infrastructure bill will head to the president’s desk this week.
Las Vegas police investigate crash near S. Rainbow Boulevard and Spring Valley Parkway. (FOX5)