Prison overcrowding is a growing problem and concern in the U.S. Overcrowding is a result of a variety of factors, from a simple lack of space to high rates of rearrests for committing the same crimes, such as driving under the influence of alcohol.
To keep re-offenders from going back to jail over and over again, the obvious solution is to reduce recidivism. While the task might prove difficult for offenders of other crimes, the solution is quite simple for convicted drunk driving offenders: ignition interlock device (IID) installation.
While drunk driving is certainly a punishable act, there’s no reason offenders need to be locked up in a prison, where the last thing they’ll be doing is rehabilitating and learning from their mistake. IID installation is a more fitting punishment because offenders remain productive citizens, drinking and driving isn’t an option, and, most importantly, it works.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 17 states require all convicted drunk driving offenders to install an IID in their vehicle as an alternative to jail time while most other states require IID installation for first time offenders and/or for repeat offenders. This increased use of ignition interlocks has reduced drunk driving recidivism by 67 percent while interlocks are installed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
More importantly, IID installation for drunk driving offenders keeps themselves and the public safe. States that require all convicted offenders to install ignition interlocks in their vehicle, have seen a 30 percent reduction in DUI-related deaths.
IIDs are also more cost effective, as installation and any monthly fees are paid for out of the offender’s pocket, not by the public’s tax dollars.