In 2006, MADD joined forces with traffic safety advocates, the government and members of the automotive industry to create a panel to support and encourage the development of new technology that would prevent drivers from operating a vehicle if drunk. What resulted from this alliance was the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS). The DADSS program aims to research, develop and demonstrate non-invasive alcohol detection technology that can quickly measure a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This technology offers the potential to prevent vehicles from being operated when a driver’s BAC exceeds legal limits.
Although car manufacturers have made great strides in reducing alcohol-related deaths, drunk driving remains a major factor in tens of thousands of highway alcohol-related deaths every year. Since 1997, a third of all vehicular fatalities had BACs at or above the legal limit. The DADSS program’s objective is to make it impossible for a drunk person to drive his car, which could reduce vehicular deaths by as much as 9,000 per year.
Ignition-interlocks have made a dent in alcohol-related deaths since their implementation more than 20 years ago, but they are aimed at preventing convicted DUI offenders from continuing to drive and are considered too intrusive for use among the general public, most of who drive sober or have BAC below the legal limit. The DADSS system promises to be a viable solution in the fight against drunk driving. For more information about the DADSS system, visit the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety site, from the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.