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DUI ignition interlock

by barrysaundersaz

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Why Are States SeekingStricter Ignition Interlock Legislation?

It’s no surprise that more and more states across the country are pushing for stricter ignition interlock laws.  The incentives for ignition interlock program implementation are twofold; ignition interlock devices save lives; and there are increased federal incentives for states to implement stricter ignition interlock programs, including the $20 million grant program that falls under “MAP-21”, the latest surface transportation legislation.MAP 21 offers monetary funding for states which implement ALL offender DUI Ignition Interlock Programs. 

While not every state has taken advantage of the incentives, the results of implementation are clearly positive. Studies show states that have implemented and enforcedignition interlock programs have seen a 65%-70% reduction in repeat offenses.  The Center for Disease Control performed a study showing a 67% decrease in recidivism. (Centers for Disease Control. Guide to Community Preventive Services. “Reducing Alcohol-Impaired Driving: Ignition Interlocks.” 2011.)  this decrease in recidivism and inability for aninterlock participant to drive an interlock equipped vehicle also leads to saving lives.  Arizona and Oregon are among the strictest states, having all offender Ignition Interlock programs—which, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, have helped to reduce drunken driving deaths by 52% and 51% respectively.  

The positive effects of the ignition interlock Arizona programs shown by statistics have grabbed the attention of the public. In fact, public support for state mandated interlock programs is overwhelming.  Three different surveys taken showed support for the programs range from 76%-88% (76 percent: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “2011 Traffic Safety Index.” January 2012.) .  One of these surveys revealed 88% support for mandating an ignition interlock for all DUI convictions.   The strong support of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)played a big role in pushing the federal government to pass “Moving Ahead for Progress” or MAP-21, which incentivize states that implement stricter ignition interlock programs.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has also recently made distinct statements endorsing the requirement for interlock devices for all offenders in every state.

The combination of ignition interlock effectiveness and public support dictates an upward trend of all DUI ignition interlock programs.  All 50 states do have some level of law with regard to ignition interlock programs. Currently 18 states mandate an offender to install an ignition interlock device for DUI convictions of .08 or higher. There are 15 states which mandate and offender to install an ignition interlock device for DUI convictions of .15 or higher.  Fourteen states require installation for all offenses, and two states provide significant incentives for installing on the first offense, although not mandatory for a first conviction.

As more and more states put ignition interlock laws into effect, providers for the devices offer easy to use and effective systems for implementation. The President of QuickStart Ignition interlock in the state of Arizona firmly believes the implementation of all DUI ignition interlock programs saves lives.  “I see the benefits of Arizona’s Interlock program on a daily basis.  As a provider of certified ignition interlock device in the state of Arizona I see alcohol readings (BrAC) logged in devices of clients who have attempted to drive who had no business getting behind the wheel of vehicle.  Knowing that individual was not able to drive, thereby protecting them and the general public, enforces my belief that what we do at Quick Start Ignition Interlock saves lives.” 

Author: The positive effects of the ignition interlock Arizona programs shown by statistics have grabbed the attention of the public. The combination of ignition interlock effectiveness and public support dictates an upward trend of all DUI ignition interlock programs.


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