In a news conference held yesterday, Governor Northam launched the Driven to Protect public-private partnership that is developing technology to eliminate drunk driving and save lives on Virginia roads. The partnership is the first between a state government and the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program (DADSS) to deploy in-vehicle alcohol detection sensors (ADS) that will determine when a driver is impaired with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above the legal limit of 0.08%.
“We are developing an unobtrusive system that doesn’t hassle sober drivers to help prevent drunk driving and save lives,” said President and CEO of the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety Rob Strassburger. “The Alcohol Detection System will be offered voluntarily as a consumer option in the same way that other advanced vehicle technology features, such as lane departure warning or automatic emergency braking are offered.”
The alcohol detection system works by measuring the alcohol (ethanol) level present on a driver’s naturally exhaled breath. A small sensor analyzes only the breath molecules of the driver using infrared light. The sensor would be programmable to a zero-tolerance policy for parents of teen drivers, or to a BAC of 0.08%.
Senseair is a part of the DADSS program. The DADSS Program brings together the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS), a nonprofit organization wholly funded by the world’s leading automakers, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, in one of the most important government and private sector partnerships in recent years.