These days, if the inebriated person will allow it, others will take away his or her keys to prevent the person from driving. In the future, that may not be necessary thanks to a vehicle that may be able to determine if you are too drunk to drive.
Currently, scientists are working with two different technologies that would detect your blood alcohol content by touch, or by sampling the air you breath out within the confines of your vehicle. If these new technologies stop people from driving and potentially killing themselves and others, this is a major victory. What is sad is that mankind had to get to this point in the first place. What happened to being responsible for our own actions, including not drinking and driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has agreed to allow auto makers to develop the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), a system that detects whether a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. This system is not to be confused with alcohol-detecting interlock systems.
DADSS is being developed to be completely reliable, unseen and accurate, with the goal of stopping a drunk driver from getting on the road. This is a laudable goal, given than alcohol is a major factor in about one-third of all fatal accidents. In 2012 alone, deaths caused by drunk drivers was over the 10,000 mark, which is 5 percent higher than in 2011.
Evidently, at least $6.5 million in research funds has been directed to developing a viable BAC-detection system that responds to touch or breath. Car makers hope to have the technology in place by 2015. In the meantime, researchers are attempting to figure out where to position the touch sensor and the breath sensor.
Will this technology work? There is hope that it will. If it does, it may take more drunken drivers off the road and save more lives.