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Bill would require all new cars to have detectors to stop drunk drivers from starting cars

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WASHINGTON -- Two U.S. senators want automakers to build technology into every new car that would, essentially, take away your key if you’ve had a too many drinks.

Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Tom Udall, D-N.M., on Wednesday introduced the Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019, known as the RIDE Act.

The legislation would fund research into alcohol detection technology that could stop drivers who are over the legal limit from starting their cars.

Supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the bill could save 7,000 lives a year, according to a statement from Scott and Udall.

The senators, along with Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., announced the bill at a news conference where those affected by drunken driving also spoke.

Fighting back tears, Meghan Abbas held the last pictures of her brother and his family. In January, her family of five was returning home from the holidays when a truck slammed into their car in Kentucky.

The whole family was killed. The truck driver had a blood-alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit.

“They were the glue of our family. ... They should all be here,” Abbas said. “Drunk driving -- we need to stop it.”

The driver should never have been able to get behind the wheel in the first place, Scott said.

“Drunk driving is the number one cause of death on America’s roadways. Deaths that are 100% preventable,” Scott said.

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