On Wednesday, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) released their 2016 Ignition Interlock Report. The results were astonishing. According to data collected from the 11 most prominent ignition interlock providers nationwide, ignition interlock devices have prevented 1.77 million attempts to start a vehicle by an intoxicated driver with a Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) of .08 or higher.MADD-Ignition interlock devices have prevented 1.77 million people from drivingdrunk.
1.77 million. That’s more than the entire population of major cities such as Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Antonio. That’s 1.77 million people that could have possibly had families in the vehicle with them while they attempted to drive drunk. 1.77 million people that could have endangered other drivers because of their decision to drive drunk. They could’ve, but they didn’t. They couldn’t. Ignition interlock devices stopped them.
According to MADD, with a BrAC of .08 or higher, an individual is 11 times more likely to cause an accident or lose control of their vehicle, compared to a sober driver. They also report that on average, a drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before a first arrest.
The report digs deeper into the alarming data they uncovered and breaks it down state-by-state. In addition to the 1.77 million people stopped from starting their vehicles with a BrAC of .08 or higher, a soaring 12.7 million people attempted to start their vehicle with a BrAC over the threshold set by the court or Department of Motor Vehicles. Even though these people weren’t legally intoxicated, this data shows just how many people test the limits of drinking and driving.
Ignition interlock devices are effective in preventing repeat offenses
According to MADD, about one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders. There has been overwhelming support in studies conducted on ignition interlock devices about their proven effectiveness to reduce recidivism (also known as repeat offenses).
As noted in MADD’s report, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) compiled 15 peer-reviewed studies showing a 67 percent reduction in recidivism when comparing offenders with ignition interlock devices to those with license suspensions. Furthermore, once the interlock device is removed, those who have used it previously are 39 percent less likely to re-offend. See more drunk driving statistics.
This year marks MADD’s 10th anniversary since launching their Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. To date, MADD representatives have logged thousands of hours across the nation advocating for ignition interlock laws for all offenders. Currently, 25 states have adopted laws requiring ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders. While this shows progress, there is still a long road ahead. In this report, MADD outlines specific suggestions for each state on how to strengthen their interlock laws and create safer roads. Read the full report here.