News & Updates

WSET  |  May 24, 2019

New technology keeps drunk drivers from driving

By Colin Schwager & Cynthia Beasley

ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) — A new technology aims to create a world where drunk driving is no longer possible.

According to the DMV – 278 people died last year in alcohol-related crashes in Virginia.

This new technology – in the form of small sensors – have a lot of power behind them.

“This would prevent someone who made a bad decision from actually getting on the road,” said George Bishop, deputy commissioner of the Virginia DMV.

In just seconds, it measures the driver’s blood alcohol concentration as he or she breathes naturally.

This technology is called the Driver Alcohol Detection System or DADSS.

Virginia is the first in the country to put this on the roads.

“They needed some way to just get the technology out there and test it in real conditions,” said Stephen Story, President of James River Transporation, a charter bus company.

He says he knows his drivers don’t drink, but this is the perfect way to give DADSS the samples they need.

“Some drivers have different breaths – they might blow a little easier a little harder so it just gives them a lot of data,” said Story.

In the end, giving them twenty thousand samples to improve their technology.

“They can make the technology into a safety package that the public would buy when they buy a vehicle,” said Bishop.

They’re partners with the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, a group of all major automobile manufacturers helping to get DADSS in all cars in the US – making everyone the roads safer.

Officials say they hope to have this technology in fleet vehicles by the end of next year and for consumers – by 2024.

View the full interview here.