Yesterday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed into law a bill that requires all convicted drunk drivers use ignition interlocks on their vehicles to prevent future offenses. Missouri is the 17th state in the nation to require all drunk driving offenders use ignition interlocks and now more than 100 million people live in states with all-offender interlock laws, meaning we are one-third of the way to our goal of helping keep every American safer as a result of these lifesaving laws.
Studies show that a first-time convicted drunk driver is not a first-time offender, but rather it is simply the first time they have been caught. In fact, first-time offenders have driven drunk an average of 80 times before they are convicted.
Requiring all convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlocks to prove they are sober before they can start their vehicles has been shown to save lives and stop drunk driving. In Arizona and Oregon, for example, laws requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers have contributed significantly to the number of drunk driving deaths dropping 51 and 52 percent, respectively.