When reviewing research on drunk driving and prevention, you will find a consistant theme in the findings. The most effective tool for reducing drunk driving recidivism rates and saving lives is an ignition interlock device (IID). IIDs are also commonly known as car breathalyzers.
The 2018 data report from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) revealed that IIDs reduce repeat offenses by 67 percent and decrease drunk driving deaths by 15 percent. The data shows time and time again that IIDs are the most effective way to stop impaired drivers from driving drunk.
Which states have ignition interlock laws?
All 50 states have some form of an ignition interlock law in place. However, these laws vary greatly between each state. Some states require only certain drivers who have been convicted of a second or repeat drunk driving charge to install a device. Other states require those with a first-time drunk driving conviction to get an IID dependant upon the level of alcohol they tested for at the time of arrest. States with all-offender laws require all first-time and beyond offenders to install a device. States that require all offenders to install an ignition interlock after a drunk driving offense experience a bigger decrease in repeat offenses and drunk driving fatalities each year.
All-Offender Ignition Interlock Laws
In 2005, New Mexico became the first state to require all convicted drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. And that tactic has proven highly effective. Between December 2006 and December 2017, IIDs stopped 71,110 attempts to drive drunk in the state of New Mexico. Other states that have mandated all-offender laws have seen similar results.
Because this technology has proven to be so effective, MADD recommends that all states enact a mandatory all-offender interlock law where all convicted drunk drivers must use an interlock to drive during a license suspension. MADD also recommends devices should be installed for a minimum of six months, with states offering incentives for complying with the requirement.
Which States Have All-Offender Laws?
As of May 2019, 33 states and Washington, D.C., have all-offender interlocks: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
During the past few years, more states have considered and adopted all-offender laws, as drunk driving continues to be a problem on our nation’s roads. Kentucky is the most recent state to adopt an all-offender law. Learn more about how states can create the most effective interlock law to save lives.