According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, new technology could make this a possibility in the near future. Two new systems are being developed and funded by the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program, or DADSS, to stop drunk driving before the vehicle even starts – literally.
The first system equips vehicles with touch pad sensors which are able to immediately detect a driver’s alcohol levels. These sensors may be installed on the steering wheel or ignition buttons, preventing the car from starting or moving. The second system is being developed to capture a driver’s breath and analyze it for alcohol content. Though they are competing systems, those backing the research are just looking for one thing – a solution to the problem. One system could arise as the better product, or development could show a way to have them working in unison for the best result.
The technology will need to be extremely accurate for the program to be a success. Researchers are working hard on developing something that will be undetectable to the normal driver, only activating in a necessary case. The objective is to perfect a system ready for introduction into new vehicles in the next five years. The real goal? Save lives.