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MDOT launches new breath alcohol detection system aimed at reducing drunk driving deaths

Posted: 2:38 PM, Aug 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-16 16:43:55-04
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OCEAN CITY, Md. — MDOT officials launched a public-private partnership between the state and company of a new breath alcohol detection system.

The new Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety measures the level of alcohol on a driver’s breath. Officials say small sensors inside vehicle panels analyze breath molecules using infrared light. If the driver’s breath alcohol level is above a certain range, the car won’t start.

The new technology will be installed in eight MDOT MVA vehicles, including a demonstration vehicle aimed at spreading awareness on drunk driving. MDOT officials say for over the course of a year, the agency will test how the devices will hold up.

Governor Larry Hogan also joined MDOT officials and attended a demonstration of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety along with MDOT Secretary Pete K. Rahn and Administrator Chrissy Nizer of MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) at the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference in Ocean City.'

“Maryland is at the forefront of the national effort to stop the increasingly dangerous trend of impaired driving,” said Governor Hogan. “We’ve enacted legislation to help protect people on our highways by keeping impaired drivers off the road. This driver alcohol detection system could be an important next step, using technology to provide lifesaving information to drivers.”

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety research program involves the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, which represents the world’s leading automakers, as well as the NHTSA and MDOT. For more information on the pilot program, click here.