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5 steps to the most effective interlock law

Current ignition interlock laws have stopped more than 1.77 million people with a breath alcohol content (BrAC) of .08 and above from starting their vehicles in an attempt to drive drunk. (MADD 2016 Ignition Interlock Device Report)

When effectively implemented, interlock laws drastically cut down on the number of alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities. Since their introduction into the market, ignition interlock devices have evolved to become as effective as possible in preventing drunk driving.

Currently, 25 states require ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders. In response to a 2015 report published by the CDC, “Increasing Alcohol Ignition Interlock Use: Successful Practices For States,” Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) outlined key aspects that should be included in the ideal first-time drunk driving offender interlock law.

The five key components to an effective interlock law include:

  1. Clear penalties for tampering or circumventing the device
  2. States should have a well-established indigent fund or financial assistance program in place
  3. Interlocks should be required for first-time refusals to provide a breath test at time of arrest
  4. Interlocks should be made available immediately following arrest to regain driving privileges during a suspension period
  5. Removal of the interlock is based on remaining compliant with the program
    perfect interlock law

In MADD’s recent interlock report, Nebraska, Washington and West Virginia were the only three states that effectively demonstrated all five components listed above. Even when all best practices are implemented, there are ways to improve the effectiveness of the ignition interlock program by publicizing the laws and requiring interlocks in plea agreements.

MADD also advocates that the most successful ignition interlock program requires strict monitoring of the users. This keeps drunk driving offenders compliant and incentivizes them to refrain from drinking and driving as a condition of having the device removed.

A strong administrative backbone supporting ignition interlock devices as a behavior modification tool and state representatives that ensure the laws are implemented correctly are two key components MADD recommends.

Ignition interlock devices have been crucial in helping to prevent drunk driving deaths nationwide. As states continue implementing stricter interlock laws, the number of people involved in alcohol-related accidents will continue to decline, but it’s important to structure the program to maximum effectiveness. To learn more about how Intoxalock can help your clients, please reach out to us at Partner@Intoxalock.com today!


Category: Legislation

Carly has been with Intoxalock for two years. Her areas of expertise include content marketing and market research within the DUI and ignition interlock sectors. She also has experience overseeing the affiliate partner program at Intoxalock and managing B2B relationships.

Read more posts by Carly Flaws
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