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Thursday, November 30, 2006
Does New Technology Hold the Key to Stopping Drunk Driving?
According to a campaign recently introduced by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), new advances like alcohol-detecting devices in cars may hold the key to eliminating drunken driving,
Along with the U.S. Department of Transportation, MADD is backing such devices along with stricter enforcement measures around the U.S.
In a statement prepared for a news conference, Glynn Birch, president of MADD, said, "Using technology, tougher enforcement, stronger laws and mobilization, the goal of eliminating a primary public health threat that has plagued the United States is within our reach."
MADD’s manifesto includes cooperating with state officials to demand breath-test interlock equipment in vehicles for everyone who have been convicted of drunken driving, including first offenders. When alcohol is detected, the equipment shuts down the vehicle.
MADD is also calling for states to employ more sobriety checkpoints. Additionally, it is calling for a panel of safety experts to investigate other emerging technological options that could prevent drunk driving.
"Drunk driving is a problem that is painful and persistent, but it's also preventable," said Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters in a statement. "Pairing the public and private sectors for the common good is a powerful combination, one that will help us achieve real results in terms of saving lives and preventing injuries."
Almost 13,000 people are killed each year by drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .08, according to MADD.
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