According to a new survey conducted by Impact DWI, Inc., there are nearly 305,000 ignition interlock devices currently installed in the U.S. This demonstrates that usage of interlocks has increased at a rate of 30,000 units installed per year over the past eight years, while the number of drunk driving fatalities has been decreasing during the same time period.
The findings of this survey validate the success of the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®, which calls for the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) .08 or greater.
States with well-implemented ignition interlock laws have seen significant reductions in drunk driving deaths. Most recently in Kansas, drunk driving deaths have dropped by 31 percent, due in part to their all-offender interlock law implemented in 2011.
MADD’s Campaign has been a strong voice for expanding the use of ignition interlocks to all convicted drunk drivers, and lawmakers are seeing that interlocks are a more effective approach to protect the public. Prior to 2006, the recommended approach in dealing with a drunk driver was license suspension without driving privileges or limited work- or time-restricted driving privileges. Since the launch of MADD’s Campaign, advocates like AAA and the National Transportation Safety Board agree that the best practice is to require the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers for at least six months.
In 2006, just over 100,000 ignition interlocks were installed in the United States and only one state, New Mexico, required ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Today, the number of interlocks installed has more than tripled and 20 states currently require or highly incentivize the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.
This year, MADD’s legislative efforts proved successful with both Maine and Tennessee enacting all-offender ignition interlock laws. Additionally, MADD worked in New York to improve Leandra’s Law by closing loopholes to increase the use of installed ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers over the previous drunk driving law, which resulted in only one-third of convicted drunk drivers installing an interlock.
MADD calls on the 30 remaining states and DC to take action and enact an all-offender interlock laws. Find out if your state requires ignition interlocks for all DUI offenders and take action.
MADD also urges those states that have enacted all-offender interlock laws to fine-tune and close loopholes so all convicted drunk drivers must go an interlock for at least six months prior to regaining unrestricted driving privileges.
For more information on ignition interlocks, please visit www.madd.org/interlock.