Did you know that drunk driving claims roughly 10,000 lives every year in the United States alone? Those accidents add up, costing $194 billion annually. Those are staggering statistics, but the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) Program has a solution.
The organization has developed a new technology designed to stop drunk driving altogether. Their innovative idea is one that just might be the answer, too. Here’s a closer look at how the DADSS’ alcohol detection technology could save thousands of lives.
Who Is DADSS?
DADSS is a research program that works in tandem with the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The ACTS is a coalition of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers, while the NHTSA is the governing body over various automotive legislation.
With DADSS and the support of congress, this union of government and the private sector has pushed the bounds of technology to develop something wholly unique and innovative. Independent engineers and scientists have created a device that detects when a person is too inebriated to drive, but there’s more to it than that.
The world already has breathalyzers and ignition interlock devices designed to cut down on or catch drunk drivers. With the statistics on accidents and fatalities caused by alcohol, it’s clear that current devices just aren’t doing the trick. DADSS, however, is looking past those methods to something more efficient and concrete.
The new technology they’re developing will also stop a car from starting or moving when the driver is intoxicated, but it doesn’t work like the ignition interlock device. Instead of an unsightly tube drivers would have to blow into to check their blood alcohol concentration (BAC), this device works like other smart safety features.
It’s designed to automatically detect a driver’s BAC, much like lane departure or automatic emergency braking detects the car’s surrounding to maintain safety on the road. If it detects a BAC of 0.08% or higher, the legal limit in the United States, it prevents the car from moving.
DADSS’ goal, after more testing and meeting performance standards, is to offer this technology as a safety option in new vehicles alongside other driver assistance technologies. Pilot field operational tests and other research are currently being conducted, which means this tech could hit the market very soon.
Ask any legal professional who deals with drunk drivers, like this Boulder felony DUI lawyer, and they’ll shed light on just how serious a problem alcohol-impaired driving is. Not only the risks, but how the repercussions can destroy a person’s life provided they survive the incident.
With this new technology, someone leaving the bar wouldn’t be able to dive their vehicle until their BAC is below 0.08%. Since that’s unlikely to happen in a short time, most people would be left with the option of using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. It might seem inconvenient, especially at the time, but it’s a far safer and smarter option than heading out on the road with double vision.
Aside from cutting down on deaths and tax dollars spent, this technology can save someone from dealing with the legal hassles that come with a DUI. A minor inconvenience one night is obviously more preferable than jail, losing your license, and hefty fines. Best of all, however, it curbs the behavior of drink driving in a simple and effective way.