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Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety to Combat Drunk Driving

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), the latest technology in the fight against drunk driving, was demonstrated for Ray LaHood, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, and David Strickland, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator earlier this year. DADSS technology is a result of a "cooperative initiative" involving the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS).

While DADSS is still in development, an NHTSA release says that both a touch-based system and a breath-bases system are being evaluated. DADSS will detect the blood-alcohol level of the driver, and, if the driver's BAC is at or above the legal limit of 0.08, keep the vehicle from becoming operational.

According to Shane Karr, Vice President for Federal Governmental Affairs at the Alliance of Automobile Manufactures, DADSS technology will be precise enough to impact only those drivers with a BAC over the legal limit, and that the technology will be reliable enough to require very little upkeep.

The NHTSA reports that in 2009 there were 10,839 fatalities in accidents involving a drunk driver - this amounts to 32 percent of all fatal vehicle accidents. Additionally, NHTSA research shows that drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents were eight times more likely to have a prior drunk driving conviction on their record than sober drivers involved in fatal accidents.

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