Breathalysers could seriously curb impaired driving
Officials have tried move before, unsuccessfully
In a move that will likely put a massive curb on drunk driving, Russia is looking at requiring built-in breathalysers on every car.
Russians might not be the massive drinkers of TV and film, but their reputation as heavy drinkers is based in fact. The WHO says their consumption has fallen 43 percent from 2003 to 2016, but it’s still not enough. After increased taxes, massive fines, and lowered limits, there is still a drink-drive problem.
News of the possible new rules comes from Reuters, which reports that the industry ministry is expecting to have a plan ready by the end of the year. The plan is to provide automakers a large incentive (not necessarily financial) to push breathalyser interlocks into new vehicles, which would stop the vehicles from starting and driving with an impaired person behind the wheel.
The report says that Russia saw 17,000 road deaths last year, a rate much higher than other similar countries. This is not the first attempt to add the devices to cars in Russia, though the other attempts were not successful.
The ministry did not comment on the report, but there are concerns that adding this cost, and what many may see as an inconvenience, could come at the expense of new vehicle sales. A market already seeing a strain because of the COVID-19 pandemic.