Push for Ignition Interlock Laws in the US this Fall

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Since 2005, when New Mexico became the first state to pass a law requiring an ignition interlock device for all people with DUI convictions, 10 other states have enacted DUI laws mandating DUI offenders install ignition interlock devices.

The ignition interlock law campaign is gaining momentum. The federal transportation funding bill that will be discussed by Congress this fall requires every state to mandate DUI offenders install ignition interlock devices. It states don’t pass such a law, the state governments may lose federal highway funding.

An ignition interlock device requires a driver blow into a breathalyzer before the car will start. It will stop the engine from starting if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath.

Currently, 47 states and Washington D.C. require ignition interlock systems for some offenders. Alabama, South Dakota and Vermont are the only states to not have any such law.

Supporters of the law point out that New Mexico was one perennial national leader in alcohol-related crashes, but when the state launched a campaign and passed an ignition interlock law, there was a 35% drop in DUI deaths.

Today, there are 150,000 vehicles that have ignition interlock systems installed. If every driver with a DUI conviction were required to install the divorce, there would be close to 1 million.

Source: USA Today

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One Response so far

I agree that IIDs are not foolproof and monitoring should take these drawbacks into consideration, but the requirement of having the device does lower the rate of repeat offenders and the statistics indicate it does save lives.