Read the updated 2019 article here.
The California ignition interlock device pilot program, introduced in 2010, requires all convicted DUI offenders in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties to install an ignition interlock device.
This program aims to eliminate drunk driving deaths and cut down drunk driving accidents by requiring offenders to breathe into an ignition interlock device before starting their vehicle. The national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Colleen Sheehey-Church supports the program. “You can look at it like a probation officer sitting in the seat,” Sheehey-Church said.
California ignition interlock devices - IntoxalockIn the six-year trial, 1.1 million drivers have been prevented from starting their vehicles because the devices detected alcohol, according to fresnobee.com. In over 140,000 of those situations, the driver’s breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) was .08 or higher. To put it simply, this program has potentially saved many lives already. The program has only been around for a few years but the statistics prove that it has helped tremendously in those counties.
In 2010, Tulare County reported 34 alcohol-related traffic deaths and in 2015, they only reported four. In total, DUI deaths dropped from 150 in 2010 to 108 in 2015 in all four counties combined. This program’s success is not unique. The program has proven to work in other states as well. New Mexico, Arizona, and Oregon have all seen a 35 to 47% reduction in drunk driving deaths.
Currently, in California, there are about 35,000 ignition interlock devices and 70% of those are in the four trial counties. While more offenders are required to get an ignition interlock, installation rates are low, ranging from 30% to 45% in the four counties. Officials are working to improve installation rates by giving incentives if installed immediately after arrest.
Incentives include no suspended license and a reduction in the total costs associated with a DUI and an ignition interlock device. Californians are fed up with drunk driving and it is time this program extends statewide. Sheehey-Church stated, “The ignition interlock device is virtually the only thing we have right now that can separate drinking from driving.” Read more here.
To learn more about how an ignition interlock device can help you regain your license after a drunk driving conviction, call us today at (855) 531-5244 to speak to a California state specialist.