In the midst of the holiday season, there are no doubt many drunk drivers in Manassas and the rest of Prince William County right now. And the more drunk drivers that are out there, the greater the risk that responsible, sober drivers will get hit and suffer major, life-threatening injuries.
What if cars, trucks and SUVs would not start until the person behind the wheel proves they are sober? The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has partnered with a private company to create an invention it says will do just that. It’s called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program, or DADSS.
Before turning the key, blow into this
It sounds like DADSS works similarly to the ignition interlock device that a driver convicted of DUI may have to install in their vehicle. The driver blows into the device, which contains sensors that detect if there is alcohol within the breath. If DADSS detects alcohol above the legal limit, a red light turns on, and the device won’t let you start the engine. Therefore, an intoxicated person would not be able to cause an accident.
The Virginia DMV has been testing DADSS on passenger vehicles. Now they are planning to test them on commercial trucks to see if the technology can withstand the long miles that semis put on. Authorities hope that, eventually, automakers will make DADSS technology a part of the vehicles they sell.
It will be years before this could happen if it ever does. Until then, drunk drivers will continue harming and killing people, leaving families struggling to pick up the pieces.