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Vehicular technologies may be helpful in detecting or preventing impaired driving. A 2021 study estimated that if alcohol detection technology were added to all new vehicles, up to 9,000 lives could be saved each year (Farmer, 2021). NHTSA has studied the feasibility of using vehicle-based sensors to detect alcohol-related impairment in drivers (Lee et al., 2010). The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program is a collaborative research partnership between the automotive industry and NHTSA to assess and develop alcohol-detection technologies to prevent vehicles from being driven when a driver’s BAC is at or exceeds the legal limit of .08 g/dL (as of December 30, 2018, Utah’s BAC per se limit is .05 g/dL). Some technologies can passively detect alcohol in the breath of the driver; other technologies use a touch pad to measure alcohol concentration in the driver’s skin tissue. In 2019 Maryland joined Virginia to pilot the DADSS program in selected fleet vehicles. More information is available from DADSS (2021) and NASEM (Teutsch et al., 2018).

The public generally supports using alcohol detection technology to prevent alcohol-impaired driving. In one nationally representative survey from 2010, some 64% of respondents said that having advanced alcohol detection technology in all vehicles was a “good” or “very good” idea (McCartt, Wells, & Teoh, 2010). The technology was supported even among those who admitted to driving at or above the legal limit. In the AAA Foundation survey, 70% of respondents supported requiring all new cars to have built-in technology that will not allow a vehicle to start if the driver's alcohol level is over the legal limit (AAAFTS, 2021).