Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS)

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) is a research program to advance the state of alcohol detection technology in vehicles that would prevent impaired driving.  Learn more at

According to the DADSS website, "the technology would automatically detect when a driver is intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .08 - the legal limit in all 50 states - and prevent the car from moving. It will be made available as a safety option in new vehicles - like automatic braking, lane departure warning and other advanced driver assist vehicle technologies."

DADSS is researching two technologies for vehicle integration

  1. Breath-Based System - This system measures the alcohol level in a driver’s naturally exhaled breath unobtrusively. It will be designed to take instantaneous readings as the driver breathes normally and to accurately and reliably distinguish between the driver’s breath and that of any passengers.

  2. Touch-Based System - This technology measures blood alcohol levels under the skin’s surface by shining an infrared-light through the fingertip. It will be integrated into current vehicle controls, such as the start button or steering wheel, and take multiple, accurate readings in less than a second.

DADSS History

2006 -- Blue Ribbon Panel for the development of a Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) established by MADD Canada, MADD US, Transport Canada, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Institute for Highway Safety, major automobile manufacturers and technology companies. (MADD Canada YouTube)

2008 -- The DADSS research program began developing laboratory prototypes for alcohol detection technology for vehicle integration. (

2013 -- The NHTSA and Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) extended their agreement to further develop and test the breath-based and touch-based prototypes to reduce the size and ensure they meet strict performance standards related to speed, accuracy, precision and reliability. (

2015 -- The research and testing is being overseen by a team of independent engineers and scientists, and will be further tested under real-world operating conditions before it is made available as a consumer option. (