How Effective Are Ignition Interlock Devices For Preventing Drunk Driving

Interlock Device

Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) has a long history of advocating for the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, starting with their first offense. They’ve held that technology is the best weapon available for avoiding the tragedies that are caused by drunk driving. In 2016, as part of their ongoing efforts, MADD began a study to quantify the effectiveness of such an approach.

Their conclusions were both encouraging and alarming. MADD gathered data from 11 different ignition interlock manufacturers and discovered that the interlocks, though still not in widespread use, had prevented 1.77 million attempts by drunk drivers to start their cars. Only a year later, they had stopped another 350,000 attempts, and since 2006 when MADD first launched their campaign aimed at eliminating drunk driving, 2.3 million drunk driving attempts were prevented.

As part of MADD’s campaign, the top priority has been to convince every state to pass ignition interlock laws for every drunk driving offender. The tiny devices, hard-wired into every vehicle driven by the offender, prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood-alcohol level is higher than a pre-set limit.

Today, every state has an ignition interlock law of some type. MADD’s stated goal is to convince every state that the most effective law is one which applies to every convicted offender from the first offense. When MADD first began their crusade, the only state that had an all-offender ignition interlock law was New Mexico. Today, encouraged by information provided by MADD, 28 states and the District of Columbia have adopted ignition interlock laws for offenders who have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher after their first offense.

MADD continues to be committed to encouraging the remaining states to pass similar laws and to assist every state at optimizing its laws to expand the use of technology to prevent drunk driving tragedies. By promoting the use of existing technologies with high-visibility law enforcement efforts, and the development of a more advanced technology for passive detection of alcohol on a driver’s breath, MADD hopes to create a nation of No More Victims. Support MADD in this effort by lending your support for their Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you have been pulled over for a DWI, and need to get some answers to avoid having and interlock put on your car, get a free consultation from the Houston drinking and driving attorneys at Butler Law Firm.  Call today (713) 236-8744