In-Vehicle Technology in Development Targets Drunk Drivers

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that new technology is being developed to help prevent alcohol-impaired drivers from operating their motor vehicles. The $10 million research program is jointly funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, a group that represents many car manufacturers from around the world.

The technology is called Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), and would measure whether a driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above the nation’s legal limit of .08 percent, and if so, the system would prevent the vehicle from starting. DADSS would use sensors to measure a driver’s BAC in two ways: analyzing a driver’s breath or through the driver’s skin by using touch-based sensors strategically placed on door locks and steering wheels, common places a driver touches. Both methods eliminate a driver needing to take extra steps to start the vehicle, unlike ignition interlock devices (IIDs), which require a breath test from a driver every time they use a vehicle.

According to the DOT, the technology is eight to 10 years away from everyday use in cars. It has also been emphasized that DADSS is envisioned as optional for future cars, and would be voluntary for car makers. Critics of the technology doubt it can ever be perfected to the point where DADSS would be completely reliable and not prevent sober drivers from driving.

Colorado ignition interlock devices are required to be installed in all vehicles a convicted drunk driver may drive under the following circumstances:

  • A person convicted of their first DUI or DWI is required to have an IID in their vehicle(s) for eight months;
  • A person convicted of their first offense with a BAC or .17 or greater is required to have an IID in their vehicle(s) for two years;
  • A person convicted of a second or third DWI is required to have an IID in their vehicle(s) for two years;
  • A person convicted of a second DUI within five years of a third DUI is required to have an IID in their vehicle(s) for two years; and
  • A person deemed a “Habitual Offender” is required to have an IID in their vehicle(s) for four years.

Anyone charged with a DUI or DWI in Colorado has it in their best interest to fight the charges made against them, or face severe penalties, fines, and possible jail time. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. our highly skilled Colorado Springs DUI lawyers have the resources and experience that are required to aggressively fight for the best possible outcome in your drunk driving case. Call 719-475-2555 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.

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