WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan has introduced legislation that would require the federal government to make drunk driving prevention technology standard on all new vehicles. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is proud to support the Honoring Abbas Family Legacy to Terminate (HALT) Drunk Driving Act and thanks Congresswoman Dingell for her leadership in the battle to eliminate drunk driving.

Dingell’s legislation calls for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a rulemaking by 2024, which would outline the process and deadlines for equipping new vehicles with this lifesaving technology that prevents a drunk driver from operating a vehicle.

“For over a decade, MADD has supported and promoted research and development of advanced drunk driving prevention technologies,” said MADD National President Helen Witty. “This technology could save 7,000 lives every year. We can’t afford to wait any longer for all cars to be equipped with this safety feature.”

Dingell pledged to take action to reduce drunk driving crashes in January after five members of the Abbas family — both parents and their three children — were killed by a drunk driver while returning home to Michigan from a family vacation in Florida.

“Drunk driving has brought pain to my community in Dearborn and the country,” said Dingell. “Change and progress never come as fast as we’d like, but we need to do everything we can to ensure what happened to the Abbas family never happens again. The DADSS technology has the potential to save lives. The HALT Drunk Driving Act honors the Abbas’ family legacy by exploring the use of passive alcohol detection technology in all new cars. I’m committed to continuing to work with advocacy groups, industry, and federal regulators so we can stop drunk driving and ensure the tragedy of the Abbas family never happens again.”

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, advanced drunk driving prevention technology such as the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) could save over 7,000 lives per year. MADD has challenged the auto industry to commercialize these devices to make them widely available to their customers. Dingell’s legislation would ensure that this happens.

In March, Witty testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. In addition to challenging the auto industry to make the technology a priority, she called for it to be installed and tested on the government’s fleet of vehicles and asked for a federal rulemaking that would equip new vehicles with this technology.

Advanced drunk driving prevention technology is a key element of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. The other elements include support for high-visibility law enforcement such as sobriety checkpoints, requiring ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders, and taking personal responsibility for always choosing a non-drinking driver when plans include alcohol.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save nearly 380,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

 CONTACT: Becky Iannotta, 202.600.2032 or becky.iannotta@madd.org