Troy, OH- With drunken driving accounting for a third of all fatal accidents in the U.S., there has been a recent push to make ignition interlock devices mandatory for anyone convicted of drunken driving. Now that argument will have greater weight now that a new study showed ignition interlocks can significantly reduce the number of fatal drunken driving accidents.
A study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Injury Center and Transportation Research Institute found that breathalyzers reduced alcohol-related deaths by 85 percent, saving the country billions in accident-related costs. This led researchers to suggest that all cars in the U.S. be outfitted with these devices, according to the Science Times.
Ignition interlocks are much like the breathalyzers used by police. These devices measure a driver’s blood alcohol and if they exceed the legal limit their car won’t start. Lead researcher Dr. Patrick Carter for UM study says that although these devices are often a requirement when people are convicted of a DUI charge, most people will drive drunk several dozen times before they are ever caught and charged.
“If we decided that every new car should have an alcohol ignition interlock that’s seamless to use for the driver and doesn’t take any time or effort, we suddenly have a way to significantly reduce fatalities and injuries that doesn’t rely solely on police,” said lead researcher Dr. Patrick Carter, according to the Science Times.
This is something the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been pushing for in recent years and have urged automakers to work on the technology. Of course, such a recommendation will face a great deal of pushback, especially among motorists who don’t even drink. Or, can’t afford these devices which have to be regularly calibrated, often on a monthly basis. Some believe a better alternative would be to require individuals convicted of DUI to utilize these devices.
In recent years, the advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving has been lobbying state lawmakers to make ignition interlock devices mandatory for first-time offenders, noting that 50 percent of drivers convicted of their first offense will continue to drive drunk. This would be more reasonable than forcing all U.S. motorists to install ignition interlocks in their vehicles.
Twenty states have followed MADD’s recommendations, but Ohio isn’t one of them. Under current state laws, ignition interlock devices are only required when a person is convicted of DUI for the third time. Though lawmakers introduced legislation last year which would make
Annie’s Law hasn’t passed yet, but there is a chance it can in the future, making all the more necessary for anyone charged with drunken driving to retain an Ohio DUI attorney to work on their defense.
A DUI conviction can wreak havoc on all aspects of a person’s life. The consequences will persist long after the person has served their sentence. When you are facing such a charge, you need to speak with a DUI defense attorney in Ohio before you decide how to proceed with your DUI case.