Could drunk driving be stopped by new technology?


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just recently unveiled a first of its kind prototype to stop drunk drivers from driving altogether.

NHTSA reports about 10,000 people are killed by drunk drivers each year.

In West Virginia, more than one thousand people died from 2003 to 2012, according to the CDC.

Researchers are developing two methods for the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, or simply put DADSS.

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One method allows the car to analyze the driver’s breath for alcohol.

It’s similar to the ignition interlock devices used for drunk driving offenders but these breath samples would be noninvasive. 

The other method detects blood alcohol levels through your fingertip by shining an infrared-like light through the skin. 

Based on the legal limit blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08, the car can also be adjusted to detect and make sure no alcohol is in the system of anyone under 21 years old.

 “It might sound like it’s ambitious but it really is an incredibly achievable goal,” said Colleen Sheehey-Church, National President of Mother Against Drunk Driving.

 Sheehey-Church’s son Dustin, died in a drunk driving car accident 10 years ago.

“We’re excited about [the system], it is absolutely the ultimate crash avoidance system,” said Sheehey-Church.

 Considering the amount of instances reported by police in our region of drugged driving, the question remains: When will that technology be developed?

NHTSA does not plan to make the technology mandatory for automakers rather an upgrade option.

 Automakers think it could take up to eight years for the project to completely develop.

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