Before Christmas, I mentioned that bills have appeared in the U.S. House and Senate that would make ignition interlocks standard features in all cars. These devices require drivers to pass a breath test before the engine will start, ensuring the driver isn’t drunk. Most states, including Pennsylvania, require some people convicted of drunk driving to have these installed in their cars, though the specifics differ in each state.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving has pushed for making these machines standard issue in new vehicles, arguing they will save lives. While it’s not a perfect system, I think the legislation makes a good deal of sense. Drunk driving is responsible for about 33% of all U.S. road fatalities, so anything that could put a real dent in that number should be strongly considered. I don’t see much trade off, either. The price of failing a breath test is time — your car won’t start for a certain amount of time.