Recognizing the potential of the DADSS alcohol detection technology to save lives by preventing drunk driving, in late 2016 Virginia became the first state to use NHTSA highway safety grant funds to partner with the DADSS Program through the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Highway Safety Office.
The partnership is another example of the technological innovation happening in Virginia and the ongoing leadership the state is showing in the fight against drunk driving. Still, drunk driving remains a major threat to all Virginia families and road users. In 2016, Virginia reported 7,482 alcohol-related crashes, 262 alcohol-related fatalities, 4,855 alcohol-related injuries and 19,925 DUI convictions on its roadways.
The Commonwealth is enthusiastic about this new, life-saving technology concept. As the testing of the DADSS technology advances in the labs, Virginians will get an early look at the progress that has been made and provide input that will help improve the technology before it becomes widely available. Virginia will also host some of the first in-vehicle, on-road test trials of the DADSS technology beginning in 2018. This initiative – Driven to Protect – will be rolled out to key partners and the public in early 2018.
Through Driven to Protect, Virginia continues to put the health and safety of its residents first by helping to develop technology that will take the guesswork out of BAC measurements by letting a driver quickly, easily and reliably know if they are at or above the legal limit. Virginia is also helping to educate the next generation of drivers about responsible driving behavior, and helping to prevent additional drunk driving crashes, injuries and deaths on its roads.