Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Approximately one person dies every 50 minutes due to drunk driving. That’s equivalent to more or less 30 individuals per day.
In 2018 alone, the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities was at 10,511, with 980 of these involving drivers under 21 years of age. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, the numbers have significantly lowered in the past 30 years. Nevertheless, drunk driving remains to be a major problem in the country.
While each state follows strict DUI (driving under the influence) protocols, this has not prevented individuals with suspended licenses from driving again. As a result, federal and state authorities implemented interlock installation policies throughout the country. This technology uses an IID or ignition interlock device to prevent convicted drunk drivers from driving their cars while under the influence.
At present, all states, including the District of Columbia, have passed an ignition interlock law. Additionally, more or less 34 states passed IID laws with mandatory all offender provisions at the beginning of 2020. Likewise, most states require all DUI offenders, including first-timers, to install ignition interlock devices on their cars.
If you’re thinking of getting an IID or if you have been advised to get one, here are several interesting and useful statistics and facts you should be aware of.
AN IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE WORKS LIKE A BREATHALYZER
An IID is a breathalyzer or breath analyzer that is wired or connected to your car’s ignition. It is similar in size to a regular mobile phone. Before you can drive your vehicle, you have to blow or breathe into the device first. The IID will measure the level of alcohol in your system, and if the amount goes over the pre-set limit (usually .02 BAC), the car will not start. Your breath has to be alcohol-free if you want to drive to work or school.
Authorities use the IID in ensuring that convicted DUI offenders won’t drive while intoxicated or drunk.
IIDs cannot be removed or disconnected as doing so will cause damage to the vehicle.
Only certified service centers are allowed to install the ignition interlock device.
RUNNING RETESTS ENSURE DUI OFFENDERS REMAIN SOBER WHILE DRIVING
Ignition interlock devices repeat the breath analysis or test several times during the entire trip. These tests are called rolling or running retests, and they help guarantee that the driver remains alcohol-free while he is on the road.
Ignition interlock devices are not only for DUI offenders
In most states, ignition interlock devices are required for all DUI-convicted drivers, whether he’s a first-timer or a repeat offender. However, some states also implement the IID law for drivers who drive to specific places and reasons such as when going to school or work, or when going to doctors and medical appointments. These drivers hold hardship licenses, and installing IIDs on their cars is mandatory.
There are program keys that help strengthen interlock programs
In 2014, the CDC, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) conducted an evaluation that helped identify eight strategic program keys that states now use to create strong interlock programs.
The ignition interlock device has been around for years
Drivers have been using IIDs since 1986, particularly in California, where it was first introduced as a pilot program for four of its largest counties. The program was enacted through the Farr-Davis Safety Act of 1986.
IIDs help reduce DUI repeat offenders by at least 70%
Recidivism is perhaps the most significant reason for implementing IID laws, so any drop in the number of repeat offenders is more than okay. For example, in 2018, fatal crashes that involved drivers who were repeat offenders figured prominently in the statistics. At least 25.4% had .08 to .14 BAC, and a whopping 74.6% were repeat offenders with 15+ BAC. So, it’s good that state and federal authorities are now strictly implementing IID laws.
The results are encouraging because according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), usage of ignition interlock devices has significantly helped reduce the number of DUI repeat offenders by more or less 70%. It’s not 100%, but at least the numbers are improving.
IID has helped stop over 300,000 DUI-related accidents
Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD is a group that created the Campaign to Eliminate Against Drunk Driving. Its goal is to encourage law enforcement to be highly visible in their law enforcement efforts. It also aims to help promote the use of technology in preventing drunk driving. The group recommends the mandatory use of ignition interlock devices by every convicted DUI offender in all states.
MADD’s campaign led to the installation of about 100,000 IIDs in 2006 in the country. By August 2017, the number increased to over 300,000 interlock installations all over the United States.
In 2019, the group reported that IIDs stopped drunk drivers from driving their cars over three million times since their campaign started in 2006.
The statistics and facts mentioned above are a good starting point if you plan to get an ignition interlock device for your car. However, it is advisable to talk to a DUI lawyer first to understand the legalities of IID usage.
Note: For more information, please go to http://www.interlockinstall.com/