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Can ignition interlock devices save lives?

Every two minutes in the United States, someone is injured in an automobile accident involving a drunk driver, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Approximately one-third of all drunk drivers arrested are repeat offenders. In fact, the average drunk driver has driven more than 80 times before being arrested for the first time. As a motorist, you navigate alongside drunk drivers regularly and may not even know it. People who choose to get behind the wheel after drinking put lives in danger and are at risk of causing a major accident.

Many states across the nation make it mandatory for drunk drivers, including first time offenders, to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles to prevent them from drinking and driving again. These devices are installed directly into the ignition system and measure motorists’ blood alcohol content levels. Before the vehicle will start, the driver must exhale into a tube connected to the device which will determine if he or she has a BAC level that is over a preset limit.

Illinois is one of several states that require first-time drunk driving offenders to have this equipment installed in their vehicles. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has confirmed that states who have implemented laws mandating all drunk drivers to use ignition interlock devices have seen the number of people killed in fatal auto accidents drop by 16%. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also show that IIDs reduce repeat drunk drivers by 67%. Ignition interlock devices help to save lives by preventing drunk driving accidents across the nation.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.



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