The Car That Can stop you Drink-Driving

Published Date: 11th Jun 2015

A New car tech that won’t let you start the car if you’ve been drinking, a breathalyser and a touch sensor on the ignition button will detect if you're eligible to drive and not over the limit.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said that it is working in secret on two new products that will prevent your car from starting if you're drunk by detecting whether or not your blood-alcohol level is above the legal limit.

NHTSA and ACTS have collaborated on Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) research. In addition to a testing vehicle, the event included displays of the two technology prototypes under development – one that detects alcohol levels by touch, another by sensing the driver’s breath – to show progress in maturing them for automotive use. The project’s objective is to complete the necessary research within the next 5 years that would support the introduction of technologies into the vehicle fleet

“This is a perfect example of why we at DOT are bullish on technology,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Education, awareness and enforcement have succeeded in dramatically reducing drunk-driving fatalities, but the advanced technology of DADSS brings enormous potential to save even more lives.”

During the event at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s headquarters, U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez and NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind discussed the future of DADSS technology with U.S. Senator Tom Udall, U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio and Nita Lowey, President and CEO of the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) Rob Strassburger, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) National President Colleen Sheehey-Church.

“There is still a great deal of work to do, but support from Congress and industry has helped us achieve key research and development milestones,” NHTSA Administrator Rosekind said. “DADSS has enormous potential to prevent drunk driving in specific populations such as teen drivers and commercial fleets, and making it an option available to vehicle owners would provide a powerful new tool in the battle against drunk driving deaths.”

“Public-private research partnerships like DADSS have led to innovations that enhance our everyday lives, such as the Internet, GPS and the microchip. Now we have our sights set on inventing a world without drunk driving," explained Rob Strassburger, president and CEO of ACTS. “There’s more work to be done, but through this broad coalition of support, we are driven to successfully complete this life-saving technology.”

“For 35 years, MADD has worked to stop the horrible crime of drunk driving. This technology represents the future, when one day drunk driving will be relegated to the history books,” announced MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “While we still have a lot of work to do, we are closer than ever to eliminating drunk driving.”