Study: Interlock Devices For First Time DUI Offenders Saves Lives

The Washington Post published an article this month about a study performed by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which revealed that traffic fatalities have declined by 7 percent in states that mandate ignition interlocks for first-time drunken-driving offenders.

Interlock devices are installed in vehicles and require drivers to blow into them before the car’s ignition will start the engine. Currently, 22 states require interlock devices for first time DUI offenders. Other states require them for repeat offenders or those with a particularly high blood alcohol content. Some states let the judge decide whether an interlock is appropriate.

The study tracked fatalities for about five years before states began passing interlock laws in the late 1980s through 2013, when all states required them under some circumstances.  The Hopkins study suggested that even those with no previous DUI convictions would think twice about driving under the influence if faced with the prospect that a first-time offense would require them to use an interlock. It says partial laws that don’t mandate the devices for all offenders are less effective. More than a third of the 35,092 fatal car crashes in 2015 involved a driver who had been drinking; 29 percent of them were legally drunk and 20 percent had a blood alcohol content almost twice the legal limit or higher.

I think it is safe to conclude that the states that require interlock devices for first time offenders is saving lives. Drivers are more hesitant to even attempt to drive after drinking if they know they have to face the interlock. I think it would be important to take these findings and perform studies that involve distracted drivers. Wouldn’t you agree that drivers would be more hesitant to pick up their phones while driving if they knew there were very stiff penalties if they were caught texting and driving or they cause car accident while using their cell phone. I think this study is important and we could have predicted the outcome. Now it’s time to use this study into other areas of traffic law, including distracted drivers.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

NTSB Recommends Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device For All Those Convicted For DUI

The Los Angeles
Times
 recently reported about a federal program recommended by the
National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”), which would require
all drivers convicted of drunken driving to install an ignition interlocking
device before starting their car. An
alcohol-ignition interlock is a device that prevents the engine from starting
until the driver breathes into a device that measures alcohol content to see if
it is lower than prescribed limits. Currently, 17 states require interlocks for
first-time offenders. 

The NTSB ultimately believes this measure will help prevent traffic collisions and traffic fatalities. “The first step to address the number one killer on
our roadways is to do what is proven to be effective — use interlocks for all
DWI offenders,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman.

Currently
in Illinois, the interlocking device is available to those charged with their
first DUI and their license has been suspended. The secretary of state allows
drivers to install the device in their vehicle, which allows the charged
offender to legally drive during their suspension.

The
question is whether requiring these devices is overly invasive and costly for
all those who have been convicted of a DUI. The alcoholic beverage
industry opposes a blanket requirement for first-time offenders, but it supports
restrictions for people who have registered exceptionally high blood-alcohol
levels.

Both the Distilled Spirits Council and the American Beverage
Institute, which represents restaurant chains, support ignition interlocks for
first-time convictions of people who posted a blood-alcohol content of .15 or
higher.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago caraccident or Chicago truck accident then call Chicago personal injury lawyer
Aaron Bryant for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm
website at www.blgchicago.com.