Senators Want to Spend $48 Million on Tech that Will Shut Down Cars of Drunk Drivers

By Mike Pomranz |


Imagine a world where drinking and driving wasn’t just illegal, it was impossible. A research group called Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety thinks they’re honing in on the technology to make that world a reality, and a couple US Senators believe it’s worth sending the program $48 million to keep them heading in the right direction.

On Sunday, New York Senator Chuck Schumer said he planned to co-sponsor a bill originally proposed by New Mexico Senator Tom Udall called the “Research of Alcohol Detection Systems for Stopping Alcohol-Related Fatalities Everywhere Act of 2015.” If passed, the legislation would authorize $48 million in funding for the DADSS over the next six years in a partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, according to the Wall Street Journal.

DADSS is working on a high-tech detection system that would be able to determine the blood-alcohol content of only a car’s driver based on either breath or touch sensors. (As we mentioned, the technology is still in the works.) Either way, if a driver’s BAC was above the legal limit – 0.08 percent for adults or zero-tolerance for those under the age of 21 – the car would be completely deactivated and unable to start.

“There is a technology that could pretty much put drunk driving, and drunk-driving deaths and injuries, to an end,” Schumer said during a news conference, explaining why he thinks it’s worth investing the money to perfect this it. He later continued, “At the very least [the technology] would be optional to everyone, and all people who have any conviction of DWI or DUI would have to have it in their cars.”

For the curious, last month DADSS released a YouTube video explaining how the technology works. If you’re interested, give it a watch. Just not while driving! Wait, that just gave me an idea for another driving safety system. I wonder if anyone would be willing to give me $48 million to perfect it…

[h/t Mashable]

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