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How DADSS May Prevent Future DUIs

By San Diego Attorney on March 25, 2021

Car manufacturers and designers are constantly trying to create newer, safer vehicles. Automatic brakes, lane-departure warnings, rear-view cameras – all of these devices seem to have rolled out of sci-fi films over the past few years. One of the most advanced new features currently being tested may also drastically change DUI rates across the country – but only if it is accurately and effectively implemented.

What Is DADSS?

DADSS, or the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, is a federally funded research program that is testing ways to build new cars with automatic alcohol detection devices. This technology would be built directly into the car and would automatically detect whether a driver has a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Like an ignition interlock device, if the driver is above the legal limit, then the car would not turn on.

Researchers are considering two forms of detection, both of which can be built into a car: breathalyzer tests and touch-based tests. Breathalyzers would automatically detect intoxication through the car’s steering column, while the touch-based sensors would check BAC levels through the driver’s hands when he or she touches the steering wheel or ignition button. These systems would be designed to only detect driver intoxication, ruling out false positives from intoxicated passengers, and are being tested for a 99.9997% accuracy, which is far more advanced than most standard BAC tests.

How Is DADSS Different From Ignition Interlock Devices?

Here in California, drivers who are granted DUI probation may be eligible to use restricted licenses if they agree to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles, according to the DMV’s guidelines. These devices make it impossible for drivers to turn on their vehicles unless they pass a breathalyzer test and have a BAC below 0.08%. Drivers are responsible for paying for the installation and all monitoring fees.

Unlike DADSS, these devices are only installed through a court order as a punishment, whereas DADSS is a purely voluntary option. The program’s goal is to add this technology to every vehicle in the country, but it will still be an option for consumers like other safety features and not be federally enforced. Manufacturers can also choose whether they will add it to their vehicles or not. If a driver wishes to add this function, it will likely come with a higher price tag. This grants drivers the choice about what technology they want to use.

Ignition interlock devices are also a form of punishment, whereas DADSS is preventative. The goal of this technology is to prevent DUIs before they occur, whereas ignition interlock devices are a penalty that comes after a DUI. While installation interlock devices can prevent future DUIs, the DADSS effectively eliminates the possibility.

However, both of these devices are currently incapable of detecting marijuana or other substances that could lead to a DUI with drugs. They are only designed to detect alcohol.

Knowing Your Rights

New technology like DADSS may help prevent future DUIs in California, but for now, drivers should be aware of their legal rights. DUI cases are not always clear-cut. Breathalyzer and field sobriety tests can lead to false positives, especially if the arresting officer performs the test incorrectly. When this occurs, innocent drivers can face severe penalties – unless they work with the right lawyer.

At jD LAW, our legal team specializes in defending clients against DUI charges and understands every aspect of these cases. If you or someone you love has been charged with a DUI in San Diego or North County, we can provide a strong legal defense to get your charges reduced or dropped. We are capable of representing clients in both criminal courts and DMV hearings. To learn how we can defend you, contact jD LAW at (760) 630-2000 and schedule a free case evaluation.

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