Every day in Connecticut, people who have consumed alcohol climb into their vehicles and drive because they think they are “fine.” Unfortunately, many of these people are anything but “fine,” and their decision to get behind the wheel turns deadly. However, new technology in the form of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety could change that.
The Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization reports that, within the next year, a test vehicle equipped with the DADSS technology in both breath- and touch-based forms could be released. The on-board system aims to prevent cars from starting if the driver has a blood alcohol concentration higher than 0.08 percent.
The New York Daily News explains the basics of how this in-vehicle alcohol detector would work. Vehicles would be equipped with one of two alcohol testing devices: tissue spectrometry or distant spectrometry. This first type of technology works when the driver presses a button which measures alcohol content from the skin of the finger. The second is a breath test conducted by a sensor near the steering wheel. The systems are intended to let drivers know in less than one second if their blood alcohol level is above or below 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit in the United States.
The $10 million project, which has been funded by 16 automobile manufacturers and by the federal government, is still several years from completion. Nevertheless, scientists working on the project believe it has the potential to significantly reduce alcohol-related fatalities in the United States.