The Department of Transportation has recently demonstrated prototypes of a new technology that prevents drunk driving. The technology, developed by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in collaboration with Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety. They have been working day and night on the project since 2008.
The cars equipped with this technology will check the blood-alcohol level of the driver, and if it is above .08, the vehicle won’t start, preventing accidents and crashes due to drunk driving. The technology works in the following way – first the sensors fitted on the steering column would analyze the driver’s breath, even if the driver is not close or leaning into it. The other sensor placed on the button used to start the car, or the gear knob would analyze the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) through the touch-based technology.
This project, called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety or the DADSS, can turn out to be the savior in preventing sloshed driving and save lives as well as property. “It’s estimated it could be in the range of 59,000 lives over 15 years and up to $343 billion in costs to our society,” says Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, who happens to be the proponent of the technology.
NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in a statement that the DADSS’ use in vehicles will be implemented in the next five years. “Drunk driving takes a life every 58 minutes in America. But it doesn’t have to be this way. And soon, we might have a technology that essentially takes the keys out of drunk drivers’ hands before they can hurt or kill our neighbors and loved ones,” Rosekind said.
According to statistics, 10,076 people lost their lives to drunk driving in 2013; hence the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is excited about the compulsory implementation of this technology to all the cars and trucks.
On the contrary, to oppose its compulsory use, an American Beverage Institute released a statement stating the new technology should focus on repeated offenders only. They should not treat all the people like criminals every time they start their cars. Most people these days have a higher BAC when they exit a bar or a club, and might face a problem in getting back home.
The other aspect says that if a sloshed person is in a risky environment and needs to escape, he might be unable to do so with this technology. So a judicious implementation should be done to avoid such events, which are also highly practical and possible in everyday lives.