Though America has nationwide systems for interlock devices, making these systems standard in new cars could drastically decrease DUI-related incidents.

One innovative breathalyzer technology could soon become standard in all new vehicles in America, possibly as early as 2020.

Currently, breathalyzers are usually only installed in a person’s car after they’ve been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). The inclusion of alcohol detection systems in all vehicles could greatly limit the number of DUI and DWI offenses, making roads safer and preventing drunk-driving incidents.

A New Safety System Could Become the Standard

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) is developing two types of systems: breath-based and touch-based.

Breath-Based System

While typical breath-based systems require the driver to exhale into tube or sensor, the DADSS simply tests blood alcohol content (BAC) samples from the air. Drivers can breathe normally without having to breathe into a specific device.

Touch-Based System

The touch-based system measures the driver’s BAC through their skin. When starting the car, the driver activates an integrated touchpad that uses infrared light to scan and collect a sample from beneath the driver’s tissue.

If either of these systems detects alcohol, the vehicle will not start. In addition to being less obtrusive than other detection options, DADSS devices will likely be integrated into many vehicle brands in the future.

Cutting Down on Drunk Driving Damages

The ultimate goal of alcohol detection systems is to prevent drunk driving, which makes DADSS a big step toward removing drunk drivers from the roads and cutting down on vehicle fatalities.

The drunk driving statistics in America are startling:

  • In 2017 alone, there were 10,874 fatal motor vehicle collisions because of drivers who had a 0.8 BAC or more, and far more people are driving under the influence each day without causing accidents or being caught.
  • In 2012, 4.2 million Americans said they drove drunk at least once in the previous 30 days, which accounts for 121 million DUI situations annually.

Will DADSS Work?

However, the use of DADSS in all cars aims to change these trends, and so far, the numbers look positive: the use of interlock ignition systems is proven to reduce repeat drunk-driving incidents by 70%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Though America has implemented nationwide programs for interlock systems, only a small number of those who are arrested for DWI install the device. By making DADSS devices standard in new vehicles, people will be unable to drive under the influence of alcohol from the outset, greatly reducing the number of DUI incidents, collisions, and deaths.

Avoiding impaired driving is imperative for anyone who regularly uses alcohol. However, if you or someone you know struggles with alcohol addiction, waiting to get the help you need could lead to more damage than a DUI. To learn more about how alcohol addiction treatment at The Recovery Village Drug and Alcohol Rehab could help you or a loved one, call The Recovery Village today.

Camille Renzoni
Editor – Camille Renzoni
Cami Renzoni is a creative writer and editor for The Recovery Village. As an advocate for behavioral health, Cami is certified in mental health first aid and encourages people who face substance use disorders to ask for the help they deserve. Read more

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Increasing Alcohol Interlock Use.” September 19, 2016. Accessed May 13, 2019.

Amy Jewett. “Alcohol-Impaired Driving Among Adults.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 7, 2015. Accessed May 13, 2019.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Alcohol-Impaired Driving.” November 2018. Accessed May 13, 2019.

DADSS. “Our Supporters.” (n.d.). Accessed May 13, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.