Ignition Interlocks Reduce Fatal Drunk Driving Crashes
A new study from Johns Hopkins University revealed that ignition interlocks play a significant role in reducing fatal drunk driving crashes.
The study concluded that in states where lockdown devices are mandated for all DUI offenders, fatal drunk driving crashes have declined by 7 percent. According to the researchers, this amounts to an estimated 1,250 fatal collisions prevented since states first started implementing the mandatory laws back in 1993.
Emma Beth McGinty, study leader and deputy director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research, said that interlock laws which are mandatory for all DUI offenders save lives. She added that their study suggests that mandatory laws are effective. “We’d like to see the remaining states follow suit,” she noted.
The study, which was recently published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, used federal data to study the effects of interlock laws on trends in alcohol-involved fatal crashes between 1982 and 2013.
- Currently, only 28 states have mandatory ignition interlock laws.
- In 2014, 28 million Americans were estimated to be still driving under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol contributed to one-third of traffic deaths during this year.
- Every day, 28 people in the U.S. die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.
- Ignition interlocks reduce repeat DUI offenders by about 70% while they are installed on the vehicles.
Ignition Interlock in Kentucky
In Kentucky, restricted driving privileges may be issued to a DUI offender after submitting an Ignition Interlock Application. However, an applicant may not be eligible for an Ignition Interlock license if he is currently suspended for any of the convictions appearing on his driver record in accordance to KRS 186.560. Likewise, he may be ineligible for the same or subject to revocation of an existing Ignition Interlock License pursuant to the conditions or events stated in KRS 186.570.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I commend the researchers for conducting their study. The results of their work shed light on the effectiveness of ignition interlock devices in reducing drunk-driving related deaths. I also share their sentiments that hopefully the remaining states will follow the lead and be encouraged to introduce the same mandatory law. While these ignition interlock devices truly help in curbing traffic deaths and injuries, we still carry the most important role in making our roads safe for ourselves and for everyone. Always driver sober every time and everywhere you go.