Driving under the influence of alcohol is extremely dangerous since you put yourself and countless others at risk. And those who already faced the consequences of a drunk driving conviction probably understand the risks you take by getting behind the wheel after drinking again.

In Tennessee, an ignition interlock device will prohibit you from starting your vehicle if your breath alcohol content (BAC) registers .02 or more. Although some might view the device as punishment, the technology may soon become a standard part of vehicles.

How built-in ignition interlock devices would determine your eligibility to drive

A government-funded research and development program has been focusing on designing an integrated ignition interlock system for the past 11 years. The intent is to release the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) to the market as early as the end of next year, though it will take time for the technology to become standard.

The device would automatically test your blood alcohol level to determine whether it is legal for you to drive. But how does the system determine whether your vehicle should start?

The systems monitor your ability to drive through testing your:

  • Breath. To make the device quick and easy to use, the device does not include a mouthpiece. Instead, you can get in your car and breathe normally.
  • Touch. This concept consists of a device that would measure the amount of alcohol in your blood by looking at the capillaries beneath your skin when you touch a specific vehicle control, such as a starter button.

If you do not drink alcohol or have never received a DUI, you may wonder why you need to be tested each time you get in the driver’s seat. However, consider this an increase in safety for you and your children since over time, the DADSS will prohibit those who drank to excess from putting you at risk.