New Devices Created to Help Reduce Risks of Drunk Driving Accidents in Boston and Elsewhere Recognized

February 2, 2012

Recently, the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) was listed in TIME MAGAZINE as one of the best inventions of 2011. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is pleased with the progress of the new device, which was created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTSA) and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, and its ability to help reduce the risks of drunk driving car accidents in Boston and elsewhere.
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According to TIME, the developers that are testing the device used "touch- and breath-based sensors that could be strategically placed on steering wheels and ignition push buttons to instantly measure drivers' blood alcohol concentration. The sensors would automatically analyze a driver's breath or skin to determine whether or not he or she was fit to drive."

Our Boston Drunk Driving car accident attorneys understand that the device is still in the testing stages and could be a part of our motor vehicles before 2014. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is on board and is supporting the new device as well. According to the Secretary of USDOT, Ray LaHood, this could be the device we need to help to drastically reduce the risks of alcohol-related traffic accidents. With the new device, drunk drivers could be stopped in their tracks, before they are event to start up their motor vehicle.

Recently, LaHood, Administrator Strickland, Shane Karr with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Laura Dean-Mooney with MADD met together to take their first look at the DADSS device. It was developed in Waltham, Massachusetts at the QinetiQ lab.

The device could potentially keep drivers from starting their vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests at a 0.08 or higher. Researchers say that the device could be voluntarily installed into new-model vehicles. Some devices would test through touch while the other tests by breath samples.

According to data from the NHTSA, drivers who are involved in fatal car crashes and have a BAC of 0.08 or above are nearly 10 times more likely to have a previous conviction for driving under the influence. Once these devices are stalled into the vehicle of those who have already been convicted of driving while intoxicated, officials believe that the number of drunk driving accidents will significantly decrease.

"Drunk driving continues to be a national tragedy that needlessly claims the lives of thousands of people on our highways each year," said Secretary LaHood. "We need to put an end to it."

Dean-Mooney is now a widow and a single mother because a drunk driver took the life of her husband. She says that she is proud of the progress that has been made with the DADSS device. She says that she's glad that automakers are stepping up to prevent these types of accidents.

The device is being developed under a $10 million, five-year cooperative initiative.

The next stage of the research and development could happen by the end of the year. This phase would allow practical demonstrations of the devices.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC works diligently to fight for the deserved compensation for victims of drunk driving accidents in the Greater Boston area and elsewhere throughout Massachusetts. If you or someone in your family has been involved in an alcohol-related car accident, call 1-877-617-5333 for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case.

More Blog Entries:

Boston Drunk Driving Car Accidents High Priority for Law Officials during Super Bowl Sunday, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, February 1, 2012

Party Responsibly in 2012 to Reduce Risks of Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Massachusetts, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, January 18, 2012