Dem Rep: Stop Drunk Driving by Requiring Breathalyzers in Cars

Rep. Debbie Dingell (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
• January 11, 2019 1:51 pm


Rep. Debbie Dingell (D., Mich.) has a plan to reduce drunk driving: Put breathalyzers in all vehicles.

Dingell announced Thursday she would introduce legislation to require car manufacturers to install breathalyzers, called ignition interlock devices, to ignition systems of all new cars. Before starting a car, drivers would have to self-submit to a breathalyzer test. If a driver's blood alcohol content is above the legal limit, the car will not start.

Dingell suggested in a speech on the House floor that her measure would be successful if it prevented a single death resulting from a drunk driver.

"If we can keep one person from dying on the roads and make people think twice before getting behind the wheel when they shouldn’t – even when they are buzzed and think they’ll be ok – then won’t we have been successful?" she said.

She said she was prompted to write the legislation after hearing about Michigan residents who were killed by a drunk driver in Kentucky on their way home from a vacation in Florida.

"I know some will say this is too much of a burden. ‘It won’t work. Why should we have to do that?'" Dingell said. "I’m going to look them in the eye and tell them why no community should ever have to feel what our community is feeling this week."