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All-Offender Ignition Interlock Laws Reduced Drunk Driving Deaths by Seven Percent


Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Jan 30, 2017 in Car Accidents

guardrail crashThere was a seven percent decrease in fatal drunk driving crashes in states that require all drunk driving offenders to install ignition interlocks in their cars, according to a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

An ignition interlock is a breathalyzer connected to a car's ignition system. It prevents the car from starting until the driver breathes into the device so it can measure his or her blood alcohol concentration. However, if the device finds the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit, it will temporarily lock the ignition.  

Washington, D.C. and 28 states require all drunk driving offenders to install these in their cars.

Researchers studied the effects of these laws and other traffic safety improvements on fatal drunk driving crashes from the late 1980s until 2013. They credited ignition interlock laws for all drunk driving offenders with saving 1,250 lives.

Researchers studied traffic fatalities in these states in the five years before ignition interlock laws took effect to determine a baseline for drunk driving fatalities.

The study, titled Ignition Interlock Laws: Effects on Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes, 1982-2013, is one of the first to show the efficacy of interlock device laws in curbing alcohol-related traffic fatalities.

A University of Pennsylvania study from March, 2016, found that all-offender ignition interlock laws could lead to a 15 percent reduction in drunk driving deaths.

However, Indiana is one of seven states that require ignition interlocks only after a driver's second drunk driving conviction. There are 14 other states that require an ignition interlock if a driver was arrested for having a BAC of 0.15 or greater.

Installing an interlock device on a vehicle costs approximately $70 to $150, with ongoing monitoring costing $60 to $80. As of 2013, nearly 305,000 ignition interlocks had been installed throughout the country for drivers with drunk driving convictions.

Have you lost a loved one in a crash caused by a drunk driver? You may be able to file a personal injury claim to obtain compensation.

The auto accident attorneys of Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak can help hold drunk drivers accountable and recover fair compensation for the damages you have suffered, including pain and suffering, medical bills, lost companionship, and lost financial support.

Call (844) 678-1800 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form.