CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving hopes devices can be installed in all cars to prevent alcohol-related deaths one day.
Jan Withers was in Charleston on Wednesday to announce support of a bill co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito. The bill would provide a kick-start for the National Highway Traffic Administration's Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety [DADSS] program.
That program sponsors technologies to install optional devices in vehicles, such as a Breathalyzer.
The devices would notify drivers if they were at or above the legal limit to drive -- a blood alcohol content of .08 or less. If the driver gives a bad reading, then the vehicle's ignition would not start, Withers said at a news conference on the steps of the Kanawha County Courthouse.
"The DADSS program moves us closer to MADD's dream of a nation without drunk drivers," she said.
She would like to see the devices used in company vehicles, at first, or for parents' use to monitor teenage drivers.
Withers told reporters about her 15-year-old daughter, Alisa, who was killed by an underage drunk driver in 1992.
"We only think it could happen to someone else. Well on April 16, 1992 my daughter became that someone else," she said.
The devices could expand to all cars around the nation and be as second nature as an "airbag," she said.
The sponsored devices would be different than court-ordered Breathalyzers for DUI offenders because those are set at a zero tolerance for alcohol detection.