This Revolutionary Technology Could End Drunk Driving Forever

Indrani Sengupta
Not all people obey the law. But technology always (eh, usually) listens.

New detection technology developed after 9/11 could bring an end to the number one killer of American teens, year after year.

Drunk driving.

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, which has been in development since 2008, consists of alcohol-detecting breath sensors and touch points built into the vehicle itself. The sensors are able to detect when drivers are above the legal alcohol limit, and prevent them from operating the car.

Advocates for the new tech are declaring that it could become as important as seat belts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is testing a prototype at the moment which NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind believes could be up and running by 2020.

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Rosekind hopes that they can get the system---called DADSS for short; apt, given how much our parents worry--- to be instant and foolproof, drivers will soon wonder how they lived so long without it. You can’t always count on people to drive responsibly. But so long as the tech doesn’t crash like my laptop does every two days, you can sure count on it.

The technological advances that make the DADSS possible were spurred in the aftermath of 9/11, when improved bomb detection systems were developed. It’s worth noting that terrorism, though it is serious and deserving of our attention, doesn’t end nearly as many lives as drunk-driving has: 10,000 people in 2013 alone.

Read more: U.S. Considers Lowering Threshold For Drunk Driving