U.S. Department of Transportation: Alcohol Detection Technologies in Vehicles in 8 years image

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and NHTSA Administrator David Strickland today outlined plans for new alcohol-detection technologies in vehicles.

What it is? How it works?

Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety will use two technologies: Tissue spectrometry, a touch-based approach allowing estimation of alcohol in tissue through detection of light absorption; and distant spectrometry, using part of the infrared light spectrum to detect alcohol concentration in the driver’s exhaled breath.
If the system detects that a driver is drunk, the vehicle will be disabled from being driven. T

The DADSS research is still in the early stages and it is premature to discuss when the technology will be available for general use, although we’ve heard from the auto industry that it is reasonable to expect that it could begin to be integrated into vehicles in approximately 8 to 10 years.

“The goal over time is to equip all passenger vehicles in the U.S. with the technology, since without full implementation the benefits will be reduced,” said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a statement.

“The technology we are seeing here today could quite simply signal a new frontier in the fight against drunk driving,” said NHTSA Administrator Strickland.

In 2009, 10,839 people died nationwide in crashes involving a drunk driver. These deaths make up 32 percent of all fatal crashes.