Device development, field testing next steps in vehicle alcohol-detection program

Washington – Researchers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety have begun working on two devices that can detect a driver’s blood-alcohol content, according to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, an auto industry advocacy group.

Administrators of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program will work with two separate manufacturers to develop devices that would prevent motor vehicle use if a driver’s BAC is detected to be about 0.08, an AAM press release stated. A breath-based device will measure the dilution of carbon dioxide in a driver’s breath, and a touch and lighting-based test would use infrared lights to detect the chemical properties of a user’s skin on contact. According to the press release, these devices are scheduled to be installed in a drivable test vehicle within the next two years.

Successful real-world test results would help pave the way for manufacturers to voluntarily install the devices in vehicles in the next eight to 10 years, the press release stated.

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