GPS Tracking for Ignition Interlock Devices/Breathalyzers

9 Jan 2024

The new year is all about new beginnings. Many people try to follow New Year’s resolutions to improve their lives in the new year. For example, they may vow to drink less. Others may promise themselves not to drink and drive.

In Tennessee, the notion of Dry January may sing a different tune this year – for Tennessee residents and the auto industry, this new year brought about a new law that will require GPS tracking devices on breathalyzers installed in cars operated by people with a DUI.

The law aims at preventing drunk drivers from starting their car to begin with. Such a law would serve to reduce car accidents and fatalities caused by drunk drivers. For proponents of this initiative, this sounds like great news. But there’s one problem. The technology just isn’t there.

Automakers are scrambling to make the technology work, but it just doesn’t exist yet.

Congress is also taking similar action. They included a measure to prevent drunk drivers from starting their vehicles in the 2021 Investment and Jobs Act. So how can Congress pass a law that requires technology that doesn’t exist?

The first step of the act requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to release rules detailing what the devices should do by the end of this year. Once the guidelines are published, the rules could take another year to go into effect. And the agency may not even be ready by the end of the year.

Even though the passing of these laws doesn’t mean that the auto industry has to have this technology right now, developing and getting such technology ready for the market in even a year or two is extremely fast and automakers likely won’t be ready in time.

However, interlock devices that test the breath for alcohol already exist. In some states, people who are charged with impaired driving are required to have them installed in their vehicles.

The Tennessee law that requires GPS tracking devices on breathalyzers will track the location of the vehicle at the time of an alcohol test. This will aim to reduce the number of violations and further protect communities from people driving drunk on the road.

GPS tracking devices aren’t only useful for preventing startup testing violations. Anybody can benefit from GPS tracking devices, whether it’s to optimize routes, avoid hazardous road conditions, save on gas, or prevent carjacking, and more. GPS tracking devices can benefit you.

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