So far this has been a really good year for seeing the results of ignition interlock policies across the U.S. Not only did MADD release a study on the effectiveness of the devices (1.77 drunk driving attempts stopped!) but now there is even more information trickling in about these life-saving gadgets from the American Journal of Public Health. For instance:
- Out of all of the traffic incidents on our nation’s roads, one-third of those are attributed to the use of alcohol.
- Out of those drunk drivers, one-third are repeat offenders.
- In states where interlocks are only mandatory for first-time, high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) offenses or all subsequent convictions, there was a 15 percent reduction in drunk driving fatalities compared to states without the legislation.
- Now that all states have some type of ignition interlock requirement, there is more data that points to the effectiveness of the devices.
- All-offender ignition interlock requirements across the U.S. will only increase the safety of streets.
These results are also only focused on the .08 BAC offenses, and not the lower intoxication levels that an ignition interlock is programmed to detect. Imagine how many lives have be saved at lower BAC levels – what we term “buzzed” driving.
Of course, we had no doubt that ignition interlock devices are saving lives each day, and preventing further drunk driving problems on the roads. But it’s good to see recent research proving that point. With luck, more states can toughen up their drunk driving laws and ignition interlock requirements.
We’re right at the halfway point in all-offender interlock requirements in the U.S., with more states presenting a united front against drunk drivers each day. If your state doesn’t currently have an all-offender ignition interlock law, you can make all the difference in the safety of your community. Send your legislators a message of support for more ignition interlocks!