A Technology That Ends Drunk Driving For Good?

Every year, drunk driving is responsible for taking the lives of 10,000 Americans and $198 billion worth of damage.

Federal officials announced that the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) has made significant progress towards finding an end to drunk driving.

Through collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS), they have developed two systems to combat drunk driving.

The two systems are the 1 – breathe-based system and 2 – touch based system.

Here’s the breakdown of the two systems, according to the DADSS website:


1. The Breath Based System:

This system measures the alcohol level in a driver’s naturally exhaled breath unobtrusively – AKA drivers breathe as they normally would.

The system is currently being modified and tested further to increase accuracy with detecting the driver’s breath from the passenger’s breath.

The driver’s exhaled breath is picked up by a sensor that can determine the concentrations of alcohol and carbon dioxide in the breath.


2. The Touch Based System:

The touch pad system can detect alcohol levels that are found beneath the skin’s surface. Once the driver touches his or her fingertip to the touch pad, an infrared light will shine on the driver’s skin, which moves into the tissue.

A portion of the light is reflected back on the skin’s surface. The reflected light represents information on the skin’s unique chemical properties – which includes the concentration of alcohol in the body.

It would be located in a place that requires the driver to start the vehicle, such as a start button or gear shift lever.

If one or both of the systems find that the driver’s blood alcohol level is above the legal limit, 0.08, the car won’t start.


The $10 million project is being split between the NHTSA and their partners. They are expecting the project to be finished and ready to install as an add-on safety feature to cars by 2020. It’s estimated to cost around $150-$200 per vehicle.

You can check it out more information here: http://dadss.org