It’s 2019 and we are on the heels of the next decade in this young millennium, a decade that promises to bring technological changes worthy of a sci-fi novel. This will likely be the decade that sees a spectacular rise in artificial intelligence, including self-driving vehicles and law enforcement that takes the film “Minority Report” out of the realm of fiction (except for the precogs). The act of drunken driving and its consequences will never be the same.
While California’s recently enacted Ignition Interlock Device (IID) lawwill require most drivers arrested for DUI to install this device, which will not allow the driver to start the vehicle if alcohol is detected, we may soon see similar alcohol detection devices installed in vehicles as a matter of course. The “Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety” (DADSS) research program is developing technology that will be installed in every new car sold. This technology is passive. That is, it will not require the driver to do anything (unlike the IID, which requires a driver to breathe into a device). The DADSS system will prevent a driver from driving the vehicle if the driver’s BAC is over 0.08% (or if in Utah, over 0.05%). The DADSS is a nationwide program funded by the government and the private sector, including the automotive industry.
How will the DADSS system work? Currently two technologies are being explored: a breath-based system and a touch system.