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End Drunk Driving with Technology

Ashley Kane

According to the most recent NHTSA data, “one alcohol-impaired fatality occurs every 52 minutes” in the United States. 

That statistic is powerful and that’s why it’s important to be aware of alcohol consumption. A DUI is a serious offense that can result in severe consequences, for oneself, others, and for the driver’s insurance premium

However, new anti-drunk driving technology is on its way and it could help drop that statistic in a staggering manner.

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DADSS (Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety) is a technology system backed by the NHTSA and ACTS that is working to “reduce and eventually eliminate drunk driving.” Currently, the technology uses a Breath-Based System and a Touch-Based System. The first is essentially a breathalyzer that would ideally be placed inside the steering wheel. It would detect the driver’s breath unobtrusively, and if their blood alcohol concentration is at or above the lawful amount of 0.08, then the vehicle would not operate. Similarly, the Touch-Based System would measure the blood alcohol content through the driver’s fingers on the steering wheel. Both options are being explored; though it is likely one may be chosen over the other.

Several of the major car manufacturers are involved with the DADSS program, including Honda, BMW Group, Ford, GM, Jaguar, Hyundai, Subaru, and more.

Currently in the research phase, the company is testing prototypes and predicts that the technology will first be integrated into vehicles within the next 5-10 years.

This technology is exciting and innovative but while it has the potential to drastically change the fatality statistics and create safer roads, it is still a long way off.


What About Now?

Until then, here are some current mobile apps that can be used for anyone looking to be safe and drive responsibly.

  • DrinkTracker– this app determines your BAC level by using your height and weight statistics. Users can input their own consumed drinks or choose from a list and the app will update your BAC every 60 seconds. It will also help you find a taxi or another form of transportation home.

  • Breathometer – works in a similar fashion to the previous app except instead of depending on the user to manually input their drinks, this app can be used with an external device that works like a breathalyzer. It will tell you your BAC, tell you the approximate time you will be able to drive, give transportations options, and find lodging nearby. 
  • StearClear – works similar to a taxi service but with one main difference. The service also retrieves your car, bringing both you and your car home safe so that you don’t have to worry about coordinating a pick-up later.


While everyone plans to go out and come back home responsibly, sometimes things can get out of hand. These technologies can help everyone stay safe and responsible.

Photo credits (top image): Nicolas Raymond, woodleywonderworks