In 2006, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) joined forces with various members of the automotive industry, the government and traffic safety advocates to form a panel to encourage and support the development of new technology that would prevent drunk drivers from operating a vehicle. The panel developed the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, or DADSS, program. The DADSS program researches, develops and demonstrates non-invasive alcohol detection technology that measures a driver’s BAC (blood alcohol concentration). The technology offers the potential to prevent vehicles from being operated when a driver’s BAC is over legal limits.

Drunk driving remains a contributing factor in tens of thousands of alcohol-related vehicular deaths every year, despite the efforts of car manufacturers to reduce such deaths. Since 1997, one-third of all vehicular fatalities involved persons with BACs over the legal limit. The objective of the DADSS program is to make it very difficult for a drunk driver to drive his vehicle, which could result in a reduction of vehicular deaths by as much as 9,000 per year.

The implementation of ignition-interlock requirements have made a dent in alcohol-related deaths since they came on the scene more than two decades ago, but they are aimed primarily at convicted DUI offenders and are considered too intrusive for use by the general public, most of whom drive sober or with BACs well under the legal limit. The DADSS system promises to eventually become an effective weapon in the fight against drunk driving. You can go to the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety site from the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more information about DADSS.