New National Report: Nearly 10,000 Increase in Ignition Interlock Use
In-car Devices Used by 337,000 Drunk Driving Offenders in 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 31, 2017) — The Traffic Injury Research Foundation USA Inc. (TIRF) has released an extensive report that shows ignition interlock use in the United States increased by nearly 10,000 in one year. The report found that 337,030 ignition interlocks were in use as of August 31, 2016, up from 328,743 the previous year.
The second annual report is the result of exhaustive research into all 50 states’ arrest and conviction, ignition interlock laws and interlock usage by category, such as first offender and repeat offender. Researchers compared the number of offenders who should be using an interlock with the number actually installed, providing valuable insight into whether state drunk driving laws are being followed as intended.
“MADD knows that ignition interlocks prevent drunk driving offenders from repeating their dangerous decision to drive drunk,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “The increase in usage is a positive sign, even though drunk driving arrests continue to decrease nationally, and we look for even bigger increases in interlock use as more states pass all-offender ignition interlock laws.”
Currently, 28 states and Washington, D.C., require ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders. Last week, the Oklahoma Legislature approved an all-offender law that awaits Governor Mary Fallin’s signature. Nevada is also considering legislation that would make it the 30th state with an all-offender law.
In March, MADD released its second ignition interlock report showing how many times ignition interlocks have stopped someone from driving drunk. The numbers are startling: Across the nation, ignition interlocks have stopped 2.3 million drunk driving attempts from 2006 to 2016.
As part of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, now in its 10th year, a top legislative priority is for every state to pass an all-offender ignition interlock law and improve laws to include interlocks as part of plea agreements and diversion programs.
For more information on ignition interlocks, please visit www.madd.org/interlock.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 350,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.