Sober to Start
The average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before a first arrest, and on any given day, your family shares the roadways with more than 2 million drunk drivers who have had three or more prior convictions.
While suspending the license of these individuals makes sense, in reality, three out of four of those with a suspended license continue to drive, threatening the safety of you and your loved ones. That’s why MADD supports the usage of ignition interlock devices to require all convicted drunk drivers to prove they are sober before the car will start.
What is an Ignition Interlock?
An ignition interlock is a device about the size of a cell phone that is wired into the ignition system of a vehicle. A convicted drunk driver must blow into the device in order to start their vehicle. If they have a measurable amount of alcohol in their system, the vehicle will not start. It is a simple and economical way to make sure that offenders can drive to and from work, but that they can't drive drunk. Get the answers to frequently asked interlock questions
Requiring Interlocks for All Offenders Saves Lives
Ignition Interlock vs License Suspension
After a DUI, what happens if a license is suspended by a court or driver licensing agency vs. requiring an ignition interlock device?
West Virgina, Arizona, Louisiana and New Mexico have all seen their drunk driving deaths drop dramatically after all-offender interlock laws were passed. CDC research finds reductions in repeat offenses of about two-thirds due to interlocks.
Just think, if about a third of the drunk driving problem that kills over 10,000 people each year and injures about 290,000 more comes from repeat offenders, and we can reduce their repeat offenses by two-thirds, we can save thousands of lives and prevent tens of thousands of injuries each year.
Now it’s not that simple, for a few reasons:
- Currently, 28 states, plus Washington D.C., require interlocks for all offenders. See if your state is one here. If it isn’t, we need you to let your legislators know you want this law passed.
- Even when laws are passed, they are not always enforced. We need court monitors to help see if the system is failing us; please click here to volunteer with MADD.
Interlocks for convicted drunk drivers makes sense, and the public overwhelming supports this legislation, including first offenders.
There are more than 4,900 interlock installation centers in the United States. Click here to find out where they are in your area.
What Can You Do to Help?
We need your help to require use of this life-saving technology by all offenders. Ask your representatives to require interlocks for all offenders.
The average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before a first arrest. Read More
“your family shares the roadways with more than 2 million drunk drivers who have had three or more prior convictions.” State Highway Safety Office data
“three out of four of those with a suspended license still drive” Read More
West Virgina and Arizona have seen their drunk driving deaths drop by more than half after all-offender interlock laws were passed. NHTSA FARS data
CDC research that finds reductions in repeat offenses of about two-thirds due to interlocks. Read More
“drunk driving problem that kills over 9,000 people each year and injures about 350,000.” Read More
“About one-third of the drunk driving problem comes from repeat offenders.” Read More