With the last month of 2020 in full swing, U.S. roadways will experience an increase in holiday traffic. Students return home to their families, and distant friends reunite for a drink or two. Though festive, police end up pulling over and charging these merrymakers with driving under the influence (DUI), hopefully before they cause an accident.
Most Colorado drivers understand the severity of a DUI charge, as the Centennial State administers some of the harshest DUI punishments in the country. Thankfully, new technology may soon come to American automobiles that could eliminate drunk driving, and the pain it can cause.
New tech inspired by ignition interlock devices
Developed in a private-public partnership between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS), the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) seeks to stop drunk driving before it starts. The technology takes inspiration from breathalyzer devices and ignition interlock devices (IID). If you get behind the wheel of a car equipped with DADSS, the system will test the ambient air before allowing the ignition to turn over. For drivers who believe they are sober enough to get behind the wheel, this device will read their blood alcohol content (BAC) and compare it to the legal limit of .08%. Should your BAC exceed the legal limit, the car will not start, preventing you from receiving a potentially life-altering DUI charge or causing harm to yourself or other drivers.
Experts speculate this technology could end up saving 10,000 lives every year and millions of dollars in property damage. The developers claim they could equip all new vehicles with DADSS by 2024, should they receive lawmaker support. Two bipartisan senators currently plan to introduce legislation that would make the DADSS an optional safety feature on new vehicles.
Advances in technology lead to new regulations
The DADSS is not yet required on new vehicles or by law, but this may change in a few years. Hopefully, this new technology will help save American lives and prevent drunk drivers from ever getting behind the wheel. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident by a drunk driver, a local attorney familiar with Colorado motor vehicle laws can help secure legal recourse.