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Ignition interlock devices reduce the number of DUI fatalities

The number of people killed as a result of drunk driving accidents in Louisiana has decreased by approximately 35 percent since 2007, when the state enacted a mandatory ignition interlock law, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. While as many as 75 percent of drivers who are convicted of DUIs continue to drive on suspended licenses, IIDs help to prevent them from committing another DUI offense.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines ignition interlocks as small breath test devices that are directly wired into a car’s ignition system. The device evaluates the driver’s blood alcohol level before allowing the vehicle to start. If the driver has a BAC level that measures below the preset amount, which is usually 0.02 percent, the vehicle will start. Rolling retests are required while the vehicle is in use.

Statistics from other states that enforce mandatory IID laws show a similar decrease in the number of drunk driving deaths. MADD reports that Louisiana is one of 22 states that requires all DUI offenders to use ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. Other states that have seen marked improvements include:

  • Arizona: 43 percent.
  • New Mexico: 38 percent.
  • Oregon: 42 percent.
  • West Virginia: 33 percent.

As national organizations, including MADD, the CDC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, continue to advocate for mandatory IID use for all DUI offenders across the country, more and more lives are being saved from DUI accidents.

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