In the U.S., each state is allowed to determine the penalties for anyone convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, but, the legal limit for that is set on the national level, at .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration). In the majority of U.S. states, even if you’ve only been convicted of one drunk driving charge, you will have to install an ignition interlock device, among other penalties for the conviction, but in other countries around the world, you could be in line for much harsher consequences.
- In Australia, you may lose your license the first time you are convicted of driving drunk. Then you may apply for a probationary driver’s license for a year, with the potential for an ignition interlock requirement.
- In Finland, not only could you face jail time and the loss of your license for up to five years, but, anyone who lets you drive their car if you are intoxicated can also face jail time and more.
- In Sweden, a BAC reading of .02 or higher will get you a drunk driving conviction, and your fine could be based on your income, as well as your BAC level and other circumstances surrounding the arrest.
As strict as our laws may seem, there are other countries that take a much harder line against drunk drivers, from the legal BAC limit to the end result of a drunk driving conviction. Considering the U.S. is among the most lenient countries across the globe for BAC levels and we have such a high rate of alcohol-impaired drivers, there could be much worse penalties than a mandatory ignition interlock installation. Not all nations use ignition interlock devices, but, for a country that was established under the guidelines of freedom, the devices not only support a person’s continued freedom to drive, but, allow others the freedom of feeling safe from harm.