An ignition interlock system aims to prevent drivers from driving drunk. The installation of ignition interlocks is often mandated in DUI offenders. In many cases, those convicted of a DUI will continue to drive drunk even after the penalties and fines associated with a first offense. On average, a first time drunk driving offender has driven drunk 87 times prior to being arrested. Additionally, 50 to 75 percent of drunk drivers whose licenses are suspended continue to drive.
These statistics prove that when a person is arrested for drunk driving it is not usually the first time and will probably not be the last time they have driven drunk. They also indicate that drivers who have been convicted of a DUI are not likely to follow the rules of their probation and may be driving drunk. In many cases, those with a DUI conviction may choose to drive drunk or on a suspended license because there is a chance they won’t get caught. An ignition interlock system makes the chances of driving drunk without being caught much less.
The importance of preventing drunk driving and effectively discouraging those who have driven drunk from doing so again lies in the number of deaths and injuries caused by drunk driving every year. Over 11,000 people are killed very year due to drunk driving. These accidents are preventable if measures to reduce drunk driving, such as the installation of ignition interlocks, are taken. Preventing those with DUI convictions from getting back on the road can save many lives. Every time a driver gets on the road and has been drinking, the chances of causing serious harm or even death to him or herself and others is increased.
An ignition interlock will not only prevent a drunk driver from starting a car by requiring a breathalyzer test, an ignition interlock system may also prevent a friend from starting the car for a drunk driver by requiring repeat tests and setting off signals if they are not successfully completed. Ignition interlocks can keep drunk drivers off the road and teach those who have been convicted of DUIs to not drink drunk again.
Additionally, ignition interlocks are visible and anyone who gets in the car with a driver will know that he or she has one. This may allow passengers to make better decisions regarding riding with a driver and it may also further motivate a person to refrain from drinking and driving in the future because of the shame or humiliation caused by such a device. Additionally, ignition interlocks cost money to install and lease every month, a further motivator for refraining from drunk driving in the future.
Ignition interlocks can be better solutions to drunk driving than suspending licenses because drivers are still able to use their cars when they are sober to get to work, the grocery store or other places where they have to be. They prevent convicted DUI offenders of driving drunk without preventing them from maintaining a productive life. Thousands of lives can be saved by the installation of ignition interlocks on the vehicles of those with DUI convictions.