The new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would soon require that all newly created cars be forced to have a breathalyzer or some other alcohol monitors installed in order to be lawful.
The massive $1.2 trillion, almost 3,000-page omnibus, which is currently supported by a number of both Democrats and Republicans inside the senate as a possible compromise to stack up against Old Uncle Joe’s $2.7 trillion American Jobs Plan, has a section talking about “Advanced Drunk and Impaired Driving Prevention Technology.”
The new systems that would be required under the new law could “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired” and “prevent or limit motor vehicle operation if an impairment is detected.” It could even quite possibly “passively and accurately detect” whether or not the body’s current blood alcohol concentration in the driver currently exceeds the legal limit, and then “prevent or limit motor vehicle operation if a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit is detected.”
As a way to allow “sufficient time for manufacturer compliance,” the new mandate would be enforced and come into effect within either two or three years time.
As reported to The Washington Free Beacon by one Republican aide, “it certainly looks like this opens the door for mandatory breathalyzers in every new car.”
The news outlet also made not that several large lobbying groups, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, have been very heavily pushing for these installations of breathalyzers in all new vehicles:
MADD paid lobbying firm ML Strategies $40,000 in 2021 to influence Congress on regulations concerning the automotive industry. Christian Fjeld, vice president of ML Strategies and MADD’s lobbyist on the issue, spent nearly a decade working with Democratic leadership on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, including former senator Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), who is now NASA chief for the Biden administration.
Intoxalock, a company that manufactures vehicle breathalyzers, has also spent heavily on lobbying in the past five years. It has spent more than $900,000 on lobbyists since 2017, according to the Center For Responsive Politics, including $40,000 to Crossroads Strategies in 2021. The firm boasts many employees who have worked in the federal government, the House of Representatives, and the Senate.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has recently been the target of heavy criticism and scrutiny for granting favors to particular special interest groups and certain agencies that are favored by Senate negotiators. For example, the legislation seeks to grant over $1 billion to the Appalachian Regional Commission, which is an “economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments” that is led by gayle Conelly Manchin, the current wife of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).