As with any research and development effort, the DADSS Research Program has published findings throughout the process. In the links below, you can access these articles and research papers, published from 2009 through the present.


Unobtrusive and Highly Accurate Breath Alcohol Analysis Enabled by Improved Methodology and Technology

Journal of Forensic Investigation
Publication Year: 2014

The study objective was to evaluate a novel method and technology for unobtrusive determination of breath alcohol in relation to current industrial accuracy standards. The methodology uses carbon dioxide as a tracer gas detected by sensor technology based on infrared spectroscopy. Part one of the investigation was to analyse the performance of hand-held prototype devices and included tests of resolution, unit-to-unit variation during calibration, response to alcohol containing gas pulses created with a wet gas simulator, and cross sensitivity to other substances. In part two of the study, 30 human participants provided 1465 breath tests in both unobtrusive and obtrusive use modes. The results of both parts of the study indicate that the prototype devices exceeded present industrial accuracy requirements. The proposed methodology and technology eliminate the previous contradiction between unobtrusiveness and high accuracy.

Critical Performance of a New Breath Alcohol Analyzer for Screening Applications

Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing (ISSNIP), 2014 IEEE Ninth International Conference
Publication Year: 2014

In screening applications there is a need for improved breath alcohol analyzers. Accuracy, specificity, usability, and through-put are critical to the device performance. Objective: To characterize the critical performance of a new contactless breath alcohol analyzer. Methods: The device is characterized by measurements using artificial breath gas and human subjects. Breath sampling is performed in ambient air using carbon dioxide as a biomarker. Results: Resolution and inter-individual variation, response time, and specificity were shown to meet the requirements of industrial standards. The feasibility of contactless measurement was demonstrated. Conclusions: The new device exhibits sufficient performance in moderately diluted breath samples. Further work is underway to reach the objective of unobtrusive breath alcohol analysis.

Unobtrusive breath testing

International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, ICADTS 2013
Publication Year: 2013

Background Breath testing today requires cooperation, significant physical effort, and is time-consuming. In order to reach an increased acceptance for general breath testing among drivers and professionals whose sobriety is of importance for a safe work environment, a less obtrusive breath testing procedure is desirable.

Aim The aim has been to develop a breath alcohol analyser enabling fast, simple contact free breath testing with less physical effort. The sensor should meet the automotive industry’s requirements of long-time stability, and short start-up and response time, regardless of the ambient temperature. The long term goal is extensive implementation of an in-vehicle integrated unobtrusive alcohol detection system.

Results The physiological rationale of the use of CO2 as a tracer gas has been investigated, and a new non-dispersive infrared gas senor enabling measurements of both breath alcohol and expired CO2 have been developed. The gas sensor has been evaluated with excellent results in sensitivity, cross-sensitivity. In a controlled drinking study a strong correlation (r=0.95) was found between reference tests and tests performed from a distance of a few centimetres with the new sensor. As proof-of-principle of unobtrusive breath testing we have now shown detection of normal human mouth and nose breathing, and artificial gas pulses containing alcohol from a distance over 60 cm in a vehicle compartment.

Future To improve sampling of the driver’s breath, future work focuses on optimised signal acquisition and selection of positions within the vehicle compartment. Present challenges and important input to this work will be the influence from external air flows (ventilation), difference in breathing pattern (mouth/nose), passengers, and e.g. wind shield fluid. The sensor also provides possibilities to other applications, e.g. for access and passage control.

Alcohol-Impaired Driving in the United States: Contributors to the Problem and Effective Countermeasures

Traffic Injury Prevention
Publication Year: 2012

Objective: To review the effectiveness of current countermeasures in alcohol-impaired driving.

Method: This article provides an overview of the contributors to the alcohol-impaired driving problem in the United States and reviews the effectiveness of alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures.

Results: Many effective countermeasures have been used during the past few decades both to deter drivers from driving when they are over the legal limit for alcohol and to discourage driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenders from reoffending once they have been caught and convicted. In recent years, greater attention has been given to the problem of “hardcore” drinking drivers, a term coined to refer to those who repeatedly drive with high blood alcohol concentrations and are resistant to changing their behavior. Although such individuals are a legitimate target for attention, focusing predominantly on this group will result in missed opportunities to address a large portion of alcohol-impaired driving crashes. This article provides a review of the primary countermeasures that have been used to reduce alcohol-impaired driving and summarizes evidence for their effectiveness. It asks the question of where, in an environment of limited resources, attention should be focused.

Conclusions: General deterrent approaches, such as frequent and highly publicized sobriety checkpoints, have the greatest potential to save lives and should be the mainstay of state and local efforts. Specific deterrent approaches, aimed at deterring DWI offenders from reoffending, such as alcohol ignition interlocks, should be applied to all apprehended drivers, whatever their drinking history. Evidence suggests that they could benefit from them. In the future, advanced in-vehicle technologies that would prevent vehicles from being driven when their drivers are over the legal limit may hold the key to drastically reducing the alcohol-impaired driving problem.

Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) – Phase I Prototype Testing and Findings

Proceedings of the 22nd International Technical Conference on the Enhance Safety of Vehicles.
Paper Number 11–0230
Publication Year: 2011

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program is a research partnership between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety. The cooperative agreement seeks to assess the current state of detection technologies that are capable of measuring blood alcohol concentration, and to support the development and testing of prototypes and subsequent hardware that could be installed in vehicles. Three Phase I proof-of-principle prototype sensors now have been developed. Two of the sensors are designed to remotely measure alcohol concentration in drivers’ breath from the ambient air in the vehicle cabin, and the third is designed to measure alcohol in the drivers’ finger tissue through placement of a finger on the sensor. To validate the performance of the prototypes, unique standard calibration devices have been developed for both the breath- and touch-based systems that exceed current alcohol-testing specifications. A testing program was undertaken to provide an understanding of whether the devices ultimately can meet the performance specifications needed for non-invasive alcohol testing. Bench testing determined the prototypes’ accuracy, precision, and speed of measurement and established what additional development will be needed in Phase II. Limited human subject testing permitted an understanding of the in vivo relationship among the various measures of blood alcohol as provided by blood, breath, and the prototype devices. This paper provides the results of prototype testing and outlines further development needed.