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LETTER: It's time all vehicles had breath-test devices

Founder of Orillia Against Drunk Driving says 'installing breathalyzer technology in all new cars, over 15 years, would save more than 59,000 lives'
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MidlandToday welcomes letters the editor ([email protected]). Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following is a letter from the founder of Orillia Against Drunk Driving in regard to mandatory breathalyzers in vehicles. 

It is very unfortunate that breath-test devices are not as yet mandatory in all vehicles in Canada and this has not as yet got to the point where alcohol or breath test devices were standard equipment in all vehicles.

Just some quick research on the internet indicates that "installing breathalyzer technology in all new cars over 15 years would save more than 59,000 lives — an 85% drop in crash fatalities. It would also prevent more than 1.25 million nonfatal injuries, and save the country an estimated $342 billion in injury-related costs."

I also read that "legislation that was passed in the United States requiring all vehicles manufactured there to have passive alcohol-sensing technology by 2026. Although the technology has the potential to reduce drunk driving (there are concerns) about its effectiveness and potential intrusion into privacy."

However, I am hopeful for the sake of preventing any further deaths and injuries resulting from impaired drivers that breath-test screening devices will be installed in all vehicles in Canada in the very near future. I became involved in fighting impaired driving in November 1994 and was instrumental in getting the Ontario ignition interlock program in place on convicted impaired drivers.

It is crystal clear we need this technology in all vehicles.  

Doug Abernethy
Founder Orillia Against Drunk Driving (OADD)