Friday, May 20, 2022

Virginia DMV and Trucking Company to Test New Alcohol Detection System

The Virginia DMV has partnered with other agencies to perform field tests on a new technology which will disable vehicles when a driver is considered impaired. (Photo by energepic.com from Pexels)

STATEWIDE — The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) and Schneider, a transportation and logistics service, will field test technology designed to immobilize a vehicle if the driver has had too much to drink.

In 2018, the DMV entered a public-private partnership with the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) Program to test in-vehicle alcohol detection technology that will determine if a driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit.

To date, DADSS has developed two systems. One measures BAC using breathalyzer mounted on the steering wheel. The other would measure the alcohol concentration through the drivers skin through a touch-based system.

“Virginians should be proud of our state’s leadership in public safety and technology innovation,” said Virginia DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “The progress we have made since 2018 has advanced this game-changing anti-drunk driving technology, and I am excited to see how this new deployment will bring the technology one step closer to saving countless lives on our roadways.”

Schneider International has plans to field test the new technology by installing it in eight of its tractor-trailer cabs and monitoring each truck for 100,000 miles.

The DMV will also test the new DADSS systems in a partnership with James River Transportation through the Driven to Protect Initiative, which was the first time the breath sensors were tested as part of in-vehicle, on-road test trials involving light passenger vehicles.

This is all an effort to reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes both in the Commonwealth and nationwide. In 2020 Virginia reported 6,624 alcohol related crashes, 272 alcohol related fatalities and 3,386 alcohol related injuries on its roads.

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