Installation of Ignition Interlock Devices for All DUIs to Reduce Alcohol-Related Accidents


January 15, 2014

Despite the investment of an enormous amount of financial resources and adoption of stricter laws designed to get drunk drivers off the roads of Atlanta, alcohol impaired drivers continue to cause serious car accidents that result in severe injury, permanent disability and even wrongful death. Drunken drivers still claim the lives of more than 10,000 people annually and cause injury to many more. The enormous toll exacted by alcohol impaired drivers has led some to propose that states adopt laws requiring mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) by anyone convicted of DUI, which includes first-time offenders. Some of the groups that have promoted such a proposal include the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), AAA and MADD.

Although some oppose making installation of an IID mandatory for first-time offenders, there is a fair amount of data to support the potential benefits of such a policy. First-time DUI offenders have typically driven many times while under the influence of alcohol before they are arrested for driving while impaired. One study found that drivers had driven under the influence of alcohol an average of 87 times before their first arrest for DUI. According to the IIHS, national statistics suggest that forcing any driver convicted of DUI to install an ignition interlock device would reduce the risk that the driver receives a second DUI by 11-12 percent.

Currently, many states rely on the strategy of imposing driver's license suspensions and revocations for first-time DUI offenses rather than requiring that an IID be installed in any vehicle that the DUI offender will operate. However, a study of the effectiveness of strategies aimed at preventing recidivism among drunk drivers found that 50-75 percent of those who receive driver's license suspensions disregard the suspension and continue to drive.

One in three negative incidents caused by intoxicated drivers, including crashes, injuries, arrests and deaths involve a repeat drunk driving offender according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A requirement that all drivers install an IID device if they are convicted for DUI, therefore, could prevent catastrophic injuries, save lives and reduce the financial burden imposed by intoxicated drivers. The potential benefit of making all DUI violators participate in an IID program is evidenced by the massive volume of drivers that would be directly impacted. According to FBI data, there are approximately 1.4 million DUI arrests annually.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years Experience to Work For You!

Although it is unclear whether lawmakers will move in this direction, our Atlanta drunk driving injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates welcome careful consideration of any proposal that will help reduce the number of lives lost to alcohol impaired drivers. If you or your loved one has been involved in a traffic accident with a drunk driver, our Georgia accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.