Feds Want Ignition Interlocks for First-Time Drunk Drivers | Edmunds.com
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Feds Want Ignition Interlocks for First-Time Drunk Drivers


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Just the Facts:
  • Federal safety regulators are pushing for states to require ignition interlocks for all individuals convicted of or having their driving privileges suspended for alcohol-impaired driving, including first-time DWI offenders.
  • NHTSA's research shows convicted drunk drivers with interlocks are 75 percent less likely to repeat the behavior compared to those who do not.
  • The passive alcohol-detection systems will "protect sober motorists and ensure that individuals convicted of drunk driving learn from their mistakes," said NHTSA.

WASHINGTON — Federal safety regulators are pushing for states to require ignition interlocks for all individuals convicted of or having their driving privileges suspended for alcohol-impaired driving, including first-time DWI offenders.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's research shows convicted drunk drivers with interlocks are 75 percent less likely to repeat the behavior compared to those who do not.

The devices prevent cars from starting if the driver has been drinking.

The passive alcohol-detection systems will "protect sober motorists and ensure that individuals convicted of drunk driving learn from their mistakes," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland in a statement.

NHTSA released "Model Guideline for State Ignition Interlock Programs" on Tuesday to help states develop a breath-alcohol ignition-interlock program. It discusses legislation, education, program administration and implementation.

The release of the document is timed to the holiday driving season.

NHTSA said that in the past decade, almost two of every five driving deaths that occur around the Christmas and New Year's holidays were alcohol-related.

While all states have ignition interlocks, only 20 states and four California counties require the devices for all drivers convicted of driving drunk. As of July 2013, there were nearly 305,000 interlocks in use across the United States, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

It comes at a high cost to the motorist, though. Ignition interlocks run about $75 to install. In addition, drivers pay $50 to $75 a month in monitoring costs.

Edmunds says: The feds want a serious crackdown on drunk driving and are putting pressure on state legislatures to get tough — even on first-time offenders.

Comments

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    It's hard for me to find any sympathy for anyone convicted of drunk driving, especially if there are injuries or deaths involved. I would strongly support a strengthening of penalties for offenders. But a flat-rate fee like this hits those who can't afford it the hardest. Maybe a couple percent of one's income -- BEFORE any deductions or credits -- would be more appropriate. $400 for someone earning $20k, and $4,000 for someone earning $200k. The wealthy might actually think twice about breaking the law.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    @greenpony, sounds good to me. US drivers get away light with their DUIs. In most other countries it is an instant 1 year ban.

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