VIDEO: NHTSA's Driver Alcohol Detection System

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on June 4 showcased new advances in technology designed to prevent alcohol-impaired driving.

At U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters, participants in the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program unveiled a test vehicle equipped with a mock-up system.

In addition to a testing vehicle, the event included displays of the two technology prototypes under development — one that detects alcohol levels by touch, another by sensing the driver’s breath.

Government officials and safety advocates were also on hand at the event to celebrate the program's progress. DADSS is a research partnership between NHTSA and an industry consortium.

“This is a perfect example of why we at DOT are bullish on technology,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Education, awareness and enforcement have succeeded in dramatically reducing drunk driving fatalities, but the advanced technology of DADSS brings enormous potential to save even more lives.”

Since 2008, NHTSA and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) have collaborated on DADSS research. Program leaders hope to complete the necessary research within the next five years.

“There is still a great deal of work to do, but support from Congress and industry has helped us achieve key research and development milestones,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said. “DADSS has enormous potential to prevent drunk driving in specific populations such as teen drivers and commercial fleets, and making it an option available to vehicle owners would provide a powerful new tool in the battle against drunk driving deaths.”

To watch a video explaining DADSS technology, click on the photo or link below the headline.