Since launching their Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving in 2006, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been urging states to create laws requiring all convicted drunk drivers, even first time offenders, to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles. While most states have some sort of IID law, only 17 states require all convicted drunk drivers to install the device.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk drivers are involved in one-third of all traffic accidents and responsible for nearly 11,000 drunk driving-related deaths each year. With statistics showing that drunk drivers involved in fatal car accidents are eight times more likely to have a prior DWI conviction than drivers who haven’t been drinking, it makes you wonder how many of those 11,000 deaths could be prevented with the proven-effective use of ignition interlocks.
Mandatory IID installation for convicted drunk drivers has been highly effective at both reducing recidivism rates and saving lives. According to the CDC, ignition interlocks have reduced re-arrest rates among convicted drunk drivers by 67 percent while MADD reports that states with IID laws for all convicted drunk drivers, including New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, and Oregon, have seen at least a 30 percent reduction in drunk driving-related deaths.
MADD further eliminates any excuses states might have against passing an IID law for all convicted drunk drivers by making ignition interlock programs as cost-effective as possible. In fact, IID programs cost states absolutely nothing! Convicted drunk drivers, not taxpayers, pay for the device and monthly fees out of their own pockets. As further incentive, Congress provides special funding to states that pass a law requiring all convicted drunk drivers to install an IID to ensure their interlock program is effectively implemented.
If you live in a state that has yet to require all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders, to install an IID in their vehicles, help MADD in encouraging all states to pass such legislation by writing to your legislators about the importance of this law.