As with any research and development effort, the DADSS Research Program has published findings throughout the process. In the links below, you can access these articles and research papers, published from 2009 through the present.

Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS). Background and Rationale for Technology Approaches

Society of Automotive Engineers Technical Paper, Paper No. 2010–01–1580, Warrendale, PA: Society of Automotive Engineers

Paper Number: N/A

Publish Year: 2010

The Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have commenced a five-year cooperative agreement exploring the feasibility of, and the public policy challenges associated with, widespread use of in-vehicle alcohol detection technology to prevent alcohol-impaired driving. This effort, known as the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program, aims to develop technologies that could be a component of a system to prevent the vehicle from being driven when the device registers that the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds the legal limit (currently 0.08 g/dL throughout the United States). For DADSS installation as original equipment in new vehicles there are critical requirements to be met. Alcohol detection technology must be seamless to the driver and be able to quickly and accurately measure the driver’s BAC non-invasively. DADSS devices must be compatible for mass-production at a moderate price, be durable, meet high levels of reliability, and require little or no maintenance. Potential technological approaches have been identified and thorough analyses undertaken to determine candidates for further development, utilizing a clear understanding of the processes by which alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream, distributed within the body, and eliminated from it. This paper describes what is known regarding alcohol measurement via various methods, and details which technologies deserve further study. Two approaches are identified that have considerable promise in measuring driver BAC non-invasively within the time and accuracy constraints: 1) Tissue Spectrometry, a touch-based approach allowing estimation of alcohol in tissue through detection of light absorption at a particular wavelength from a beam of near-infrared light reflected from within the subject’s tissue, 2) Distant Spectrometry using part of the infrared light spectrum where the light is transmitted toward the subject from a source that receives and analyses the reflected and absorbed spectrum, thereby allowing assessment of alcohol concentration in the subject’s exhaled breath.

Learn More >

Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) – A Non-Regulatory Approach in the Development and Deployment of Vehicle Safety Technology to Reduce Alcohol-Impaired Driving

Proceedings of the 21st International Technical Conference on the Enhance Safety of Vehicles

Paper Number: 09–0464

Publish Year: 2009

While government regulations play an important role in ensuring vehicle safety, voluntary approaches to the design and implementation of vehicle safety systems are increasing in importance as vehicle manufacturers deploy safety systems well in advance of, and even in the absence of, government regulations requiring them. This paper provides an overview of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to vehicle technology development and deployment, and will describe a new, innovative public\private partnership underway to develop an in-vehicle alcohol detection system. In response to concerns about limited progress in reducing alcohol-impaired driving in the United States during the last decade, attention is focusing on technological approaches to the problem. One strategy includes efforts to increase the application of current breath alcohol ignition interlocks on the vehicles of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offenders. However, in recognition that many alcohol-impaired drivers have not been convicted of DWI, an effort is underway to develop advanced invehicle technologies that could be fitted in vehicles of all drivers to measure driver blood alcohol concentration non-invasively. The Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS, a group funded by vehicle manufacturers) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have commenced a 5- year cooperative agreement entitled Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) to explore the feasibility of, and the public policy challenges associated with, widespread use of invehicle alcohol detection technology to prevent alcohol-impaired driving. This paper will outline the approach being taken, and the significant challenges to overcome.

Comparison of Spectroscopically Measured Tissue Alcohol Concentration to Blood and Breath Alcohol Measurements

Journal of Biomedical Optics

Paper Number: N/A

Publish Year: 2009

Alcohol testing is an expanding area of interest due to the impacts of alcohol abuse that extend well beyond drunk driving. However, existing approaches such as blood and urine assays are hampered in some testing environments by biohazard risks. A noninvasive, in vivo spectroscopic technique offers a promising alternative, as no body fluids are required. The purpose of this work is to report the results of a 36-subject clinical study designed to characterize tissue alcohol measured using near-infrared spectroscopy relative to venous blood, capillary blood, and breath alcohol. Comparison of blood and breath alcohol concentrations demonstrated significant differences in alcohol concentration [root mean square of 9.0 to 13.5 mg∕dL] that were attributable to both assay accuracy and precision as well as alcohol pharmacokinetics. A first-order kinetic model was used to estimate the contribution of alcohol pharmacokinetics to the differences in concentration observed between the blood, breath, and tissue assays. All pair-wise combinations of alcohol assays were investigated, and the fraction of the alcohol concentration variance explained by pharmacokinetics ranged from 41.0% to 83.5%. Accounting for pharmacokinetic concentration differences, the accuracy and precision of the spectroscopic tissue assay were found to be comparable to those of the blood and breath assays.