Legislation would allow parents to monitor their kids' alcohol level before driving

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FLINT (WJRT) - (03/07/2018) - Technology that's already in use in Michigan could help parents prevent their high school and college kids from drinking and driving if a measure introduced in Lansing gets passed into law.

The legislation would allow parents to install a device that would prevent the vehicle from starting if their child had been drinking without forwarding that information onto the Secretary of State's office.

A device, similar to the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, measures the driver's bodily alcohol content.

If it's 0.025 percent or higher, the vehicle won't start.

Drivers in Michigan are already allowed to have this type of device installed on their vehicle voluntarily. But the company that provides the device is still required to submit a report to the state when the device is used.

Senate Bill 892 would remove that stipulation, allowing companies to develop and sell a Startup Operated Breath Engine Restrictor or "SOBER" device in Michigan.

Moms we spoke with this evening were supportive.

"I think it's a great idea for parents who might be concerned that their child is drinking -- or for parents that are just even questioning it, " said Carol Malenich.

"It sounds like a good idea, it could start with parents and if there's a problem the parents could take care of it on their own," said Cara Stewart.

Glen Thompson says if the measure gets passed into law, he'd purchase one.

"I got two god boys going to Saginaw Valley State. I think this would be a wonderful idea, for their freshman year to make sure that they make it through their freshman year safely," he said.

"I definitely think my mom and dad would have purchased it when I was in college," said Logan Richards, "It gives them peace of mind knowing that if their son or daughter's out at night then they'll be able to go to be not worrying about what they're doing, or who they're getting in the car with."

To avoid confusion, the new device would look different from a state-ordered device.

The bill's author, State Sen. Rick Jones, says there will be a hearing on the measure next week.

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