Alcohol can make us reckless, resulting in drunk driving and the potential installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). When using the IID, we are about 67% assured of remaining sober on the road, but, nobody really expects us to change our risky behaviors once the device is gone. It’s expected, after the removal of the IID, that we’re just going to drive drunk again. Even Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) states that an ignition interlock device alone is not usually effective in stopping anyone from driving under the influence of alcohol after the IID is removed… but, that perspective may be changing for us all.
A recent study of some ignition interlock users revealed that the devices had sparked positive changes in their lives, particularly their drinking habits, unsafe behaviors and more. Several of the ignition interlock device users admitted they were adapting to the lifestyle change that required them to drink less in public or stay home to drink in order to fulfill the demands of the device. So, once the ignition interlock was removed some DUI offenders kept their drinking to a minimum and under safer conditions, rather than going back to a bar to risk a longer, repeat IID installation, more fines, jail time or other DUI consequences. Even better, perhaps, the people who changed drinking behaviors were more willing to look at their problems with separating drinking from driving and utilize sobriety programs and other resources to continue to make healthy choices.
Although this same study does say that not everyone changed behaviors because of the ignition interlock, the results show that there are people who are benefitting from an IID even after it is removed from the vehicle. Despite earlier indications that a drunk driver with an ignition interlock device will just keep drinking and driving once it is gone, it looks like the devices can really help people make amends and change reckless behaviors, once and for all.