Luján Grills Auto Manufacturers’ Representative over Refusal to Commit to Implementing Drunk-Driving Detection Technology

Senator Luján asks President of Alliance for Automotive Innovation to support bipartisan RIDE Act, shares personal experience of being hit by drunk driver

Washington, D.C. – During a hearing of the Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight, and Ports, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) grilled the President and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, John Bozella, over the Alliance’s refusal to commit to implementing live-saving technology to detect drunk and impaired driving. In his questioning, Senator Luján described his personal experience of being hit head-on by a drunk driver in 1992.

“Mr. Bozzella, have you ever been hit by a drunk driver?,” Luján asked. “I have, I got hit head-on by a drunk driver twenty-nine years ago, and there were many nights that I would be driving home after that accident, or driving anywhere, and all I would see were headlights coming at me. And it scared me to death. [I] couldn’t sleep many nights.”  

After Bozella refused to support the bipartisan Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act, which Senator Luján introduced last week to prevent drunk driving and save thousands of lives each year, the senator pressed for a commitment.

“You’re not a ‘yes’ yet today… The simple answer is ‘yes.’ We’re asking for exemptions to have cars drive themselves. That means that somebody thinks it’s okay that those technologies are watching what the driver is doing, because they don’t have to do a thing. This is easy, and this technology exists today. So, Mr. Chairman, I hope we can sit down soon, I hope we get to an answer to yes. There’s no reason that the United States of America can’t lead, that we can’t save more lives. If that’s what I’m hearing out there, if that’s what shareholders are being told, then let’s tell those families that were victims – those of us that were in cars that were hit by drunk drivers – that we can stop this and we can get to ‘yes’ on the RIDE Act.”

Video from the hearing is available HERE.

During the subcommittee hearing, Senator Luján also announced that he secured the support of Subcommittee Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) for his legislation.

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