NTSB Suggests Ignition Interlock Laws for All Drunk Driving Offenders

In Pennsylvania, persons who are convicted of a 2nd or 3rd drunk driving offense are require to get an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.  However, the National Transportation Safety Board would like to see that law modified to include all drunk driving offenders, including those who have been convicted for the very first time of drunk driving.

The National Transportation Safety Board is quoting from a study that it conducted recently, which indicates very clearly that drunk driving is a serious hazard, and is linked to most wrong way driving accidents.  According to the Board, approximately 65% of the wrong way driving-related accidents that the Board studied were linked to intoxicated driving.

Wrong way driving accidents occur when a motorist drives in the wrong lanes, or in the opposite direction.  These are typically high-impact, high-speed crashes with a devastating fatality and injury toll.  Intoxicated driving is very often the reason why people end up driving the wrong way.

image shows what drunk driving looks like through a drivers eyesThe National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that all states adopt all-driver ignition interlock laws that would require all DUI offenders, even first-time offenders to install these devices in their vehicles.  The device works like a breathalyzer to detect the amount of alcohol in a person’s system.  If the alcohol level exceeds a preset limit, then the system shuts the ignition down, preventing the motorist from driving.  The device will also administer random alcohol tests while the person is driving, to ensure that the person does not drink while he’s driving.

With all the focus on distracted driving, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that drunk driving contributes to the 2nd highest number of fatalities every year.  Approximately 30% of accident fatalities every year occur in accidents linked to persons driving under the influence of alcohol.

Photo Credit: SteveRhode