It is Saturday, and your friends invite you out for a few drinks. You enjoy yourself, celebrating a long week of work by letting loose with your pals. Eventually, the evening ends and you must get home. You feel okay to drive, but do not want to risk it. What can you do?
In the future, your car may test your blood alcohol content (BAC) for you. New advancements in automotive technology seek to eliminate driving under the influence (DUI) by preventing the situation altogether.
The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS)
This new technology comes from a public-private partnership between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS). The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety is currently undergoing testing in anticipation of a nationwide rollout. Bipartisan legislation aims to mandate the new tech on all new vehicles by 2024.
The DADSS works similarly to a police officer’s breathalyzer test. When you get into your car, the DADSS tests your BAC through the ambient air in the cabin. If the system detects a BAC above .08, it prevents the engine from starting and the car from operating. The DADSS could change drunk driving in America forever by preventing DUIs from ever occurring in the first place.
Drunk driving is a national epidemic
According to the NHTSA, nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities involve a drunk driver. Every year, drunk drivers claim approximately 10,000 lives and cause nearly $200 million in property damage. The DADSS will prevent a significant number of these deaths each year, creating safer roads for everyone.
With the proper support and thorough testing, the DADSS may become as commonplace as the seat belt.
New regulations will require legal enforcement
The DADSS is not required quite yet, but you may be able to purchase it as an optional safety feature in a few years. Federal law may eventually require automakers to include these systems on all vehicles. If you or a loved one suffer injury in a car accident with a drunk driver, a local attorney will assess your case, work with insurance agencies and secure the restitution you deserve.