(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says every day, about 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes, that’s one person every 52 minutes.
“With the infrastructure bill, it’s really the most life-saving reform that we’ve ever pushed for,” said Steven Burritt, a representative with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Burritt says the organization has pushed for legislation to end drunk driving. With the bill awaiting President Biden’s signature, they’re closer than ever.
“So, in the not-too-distant future, all new cars will have technology on it that’s going to be able to detect if a driver is impaired, get them off the road if they are,” Burritt said.
It’s part of the “Advanced Impaired Driving Technology” section of the bill. The technology is expected to prevent more than 9,400 drunk driving deaths annually. You could see new cars with the technology as soon as 2026.
“A sober driver is never going to know they have this on their cars, it’s completely passive. We think it’s not too far a leap to say that we are looking at the beginning of the end of drunk driving,” Burritt said.
South Carolina State Representative Todd Rutherford recently filed a bill that would lower the national drinking age to 18 for beer and wine only.
“The only real concern that I’ve heard that has some validity is worrying about kids that are drinking and driving. I’ve been doing DUIs now for almost 20 something years and I can tell you that most of the DUIs are from people that are over the age of 21,” Rutherford said.
“We start teaching them when they’re 18 and by the time they’re 21 and they’ve been an adult now for three years, they’re not binge drinking and doing all those things that cause problems. So in my estimation, this is going to lower the crime rate not raise it.”