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How Effective are Ignition Interlock Devices in Deterring Drunk Driving?

How Effective are Ignition Interlock Devices in Deterring Drunk Driving.jpgIgnition interlock devices are commonly used to deter drunk driving. The device prevents a car from starting if a driver has consumed alcohol. The device can also prompt drivers to submit to additional tests while driving to ensure sobriety. In Michigan, a driver is ordered to install an ignition interlock device if he/she is convicted of High BAC (.17 or higher). The main objective of the Secretary of State ordering the defendant to use an ignition interlock device is to prevent recidivism. 

Research the U.S. Government Accountability Office reviewed consistently indicated that when installed ignition "interlocks"-devices that prevent drivers from starting their cars if they have been drinking alcohol-effectively reduce the rate of re-arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) when installed. But once the devices are removed, DWI re-arrest rates return to pre-interlock rates.

Several studies have shown that drivers with ignition interlock devices are less likely to repeat a DUI defense. 22 states have laws requiring ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders.

The researchers in CDC's Community Guide branch base that on a systematic review of 15 scientific studies on ignition interlocks. Researchers found that after these devices were installed, re-arrest rates for alcohol-impaired driving decreased by a median of 67 percent relative to drivers with suspended licenses.

Ignition interlock devices have increased costs resulting from a drunk driving conviction. For example, a third party administers the device and drivers pay a monthly fee for the program. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the widespread use of ignition interlocks including mandating first-time offenders to use them.

Using an ignition interlock has been shown to reduce the likelihood that a driver will drink and drive again by up to 67%. Since they've been promoting the devices they have supported 24 states in passing all offender ignition interlock laws and in Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, and Louisiana, they've seen a reduction in DUI deaths by 33 to 46%.

Research has also supported the fact that ignition interlock devices are not as useful in deterring some first-time offenders. Although the law requires that all vehicles operated by the driver must have the device, some drivers may use other vehicles to avoid the ignition interlock device.

I invite you to contact my law office for a consultation to discuss your DUI case. Depending on the evidence and nature of the charge asserted against you, I may be able to have it reduced or completely dismissed. Call 734-274-6567 to speak with me directly. If you are charged with High BAC (.17 or higher), you may be required to install an ignition interlock device if convicted.


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