Image Source

Drunk driving or driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the leading causes of car crashes and road accidents. In 2016, 10,497 people died in drunk driving crashes that involved a driver with an illegal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC), which would be .08 or greater (NHTSA). According to the CDC, 29 people die in the United States every day due to drunk driving. In 2016, over a million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

With the accelerated rise of smarter and safer cars, as led by Tesla, we know that the possibility of a world without drunk driving can be within reach with the aid of advanced technology. Imagine a world without drunk drivers on the road.

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) Program has set out to research and innovate a first-of-its-kind technology that would detect whether a driver is intoxicated and prevent that car from moving.  Such technology can address the shortcomings of other technologies that detect the level of intoxication but are not able to stop the person from driving their vehicle. The technology being developed by DADSS can potentially be integrated in the vehicle as a safety option, similar to other systems such as lane departure warnings and automatic braking.

This program is a public-private partnership between the federal government, represented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the leading automotive companies, represented by Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety.

Two Systems

There are two systems explored – breath-based and touch-based. Both have passed the proof-of-concept stage and are being tested, reduced, and modified to fit in a car.

  • Breath-based System. This technology measures the driver’s alcohol level in their naturally exhaled breath using a sensor that will be placed on the driver’s side of the car. The small sensor will compare the amount of carbon dioxide molecules versus the alcohol molecules in the breath via infrared light.
  • Touch-based System. This technology will be integrated with current vehicle controls such as the starting button or the steering wheel, as it measures alcohol concentration under the skin’s surface, also with the use of infrared light through the driver’s fingertip.

These promising systems could be the answer to the pressing problem on the road that is drunk driving. If they indeed get integrated with every vehicle in the market, it can save many lives. This type of technology, considering the problem it aims to solve, needs to be accurate, reliable, and fast; and sensitive enough to distinguish between a sober and drunk driver in order not to hassle the former by not starting their car when needed.

As we wait for these technologies to arrive at fruition, everyone must take personal responsibility in taking precautions when drinking and driving. In order to avoid drunk driving and putting yourself at risk, here are some tips:

  • Do not drink on an empty stomach. When you do so, the alcohol goes straight to your bloodstream and hit you harder and faster.
  • Pace yourself. The rule of thumb is to have no more than one drink per hour.
  • Stop drinking 90 minutes before you plan to leave. Give yourself some time to sober up a little before hitting the road.
  • Give someone else your keys. Find a friend you can trust and give them your keys, and tell them not to give you the keys if they think you are not capable of driving anymore; or better yet, pick a designated driver.
  • Take public transit or call a cab or an Uber.

Involved in a car accident? Contact Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.

None of the content on is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.

Would you like to discuss your legal matter?


image description
Jack Morgan CALL US! 866-205-4971

We will assist in scheduling new and existing clients for all offices. For initial consultations we will ask you a few questions and then find the best time for you to talk to one of the lawyers that best fits your legal matter.

Call us or use the email form and we will follow up with you right away.


The Law Offices of Hogan Injury will provide you with personalized attention and guidance. Protecting your rights is our main objective. We have been representing clients for the past 30 years and our experienced team of attorneys will advise you of the legal consequences of every decision you take.