New Safety Tech Could Prevent Drunk Driving Before It Starts

| Oct 16, 2020 | Drunk Driving

As the 2020 holiday season approaches, college students return home for the first time since being away at school. You and your family spend this time reconnecting with each other and the community. Your children will spend time with friends, perhaps letting loose with a few drinks.

Then you get a call later that night. Police pulled your child over for driving under the influence (DUI). Though you will support them and help them through this, a DUI charge may negatively impact the rest of their life. New developments in automotive technology may help prevent these offenses from ever occurring.

Drunk driving may become a thing of the past

The drunk driving epidemic has plagued the U.S. for generations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that over 33% of all traffic fatalities stem from drunk driving. Technology that prevents drunk driving could save up to 10,000 lives every year and save over $200 million in property damage.

Several lawmakers and scientists believe that tech arrives with the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS).

How does DADSS work?

The system works similarly to a breathalyzer test, reading your blood alcohol content (BAC) by testing your breath. Instead of a handheld device, DADSS tests the ambient air in the car’s cabin. If the system reads a BAC above the legal limit of .08, it will prevent the car from starting.

Developed by the NHTSA and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS), the system is currently undergoing field tests. The tech received bipartisan support from federal lawmakers in 2019, but new legislation is not forthcoming. If lawmakers pass a bill requiring the DADSS on new vehicles, the private-public partnership claims they could install these devices on all new vehicles by 2024.

Preventing DUIs will save lives

Preventing DUIs will not only prevent tragic traffic deaths but will save young drivers from making a terrible mistake. A criminal record can prevent a person from getting a job, renting an apartment or securing a loan. If your child faces a DUI charge, you can reach out to a local attorney familiar with Maryland DUI laws to build a defense that protects their future.