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Each year in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York, people are injured in accidents caused by drunk drivers. Despite stringent laws prohibiting drunk driving, some people continue to get behind the wheel after they have consumed alcohol. The problem of drunk driving is persistent, leading lawmakers to try to address the issue by passing laws. Recently, federal legislation was introduced that could potentially prevent people from driving while drunk and save thousands of lives each year.

The Ride Act

The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019 is a bipartisan bill that was introduced by Senators Tom Udall of New Mexico and Rick Scott of Florida. In the House, the legislation was co-sponsored by Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan. This law would require automakers to install alcohol detection technology in vehicles so that people would be unable to drive if their vehicles detected alcohol.

Potential Effects

If the RIDE Act is passed, all new cars would be required to have alcohol detection systems installed by 2024. The bill’s sponsors believe that as many as 7,000 lives would be saved every year if the law is passed. Before the general public would be required to have the systems installed, there would first be a pilot period during which the systems would be tested on fleet vehicles. After the pilot program begins, the results will be analyzed for 12 months and then every 180 days. The law would then have a target date for full implementation of two years after its enactment.

While technological advances show promise for helping to curb drunk driving, more needs to be done. Legislation such as the RIDE Act could potentially help to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents that happen each year and prevent injuries and deaths. People who have suffered serious injuries or have lost loved ones in drunk driving accidents should be entitled to recover monetary damages to compensate them for their losses. Talking to experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York might help drunk driving accident victims to understand their rights to recover compensation for their economic and noneconomic losses.

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