Ignition interlock laws are sweeping the United States this summer, and there are good reasons why. Ignition interlocks are supported by organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and have been found to reduce the likelihood a drunk driver will drive intoxicated again by 67%.
There are 21 states with all offender ignition laws, and that number could increase by the end of the year. In the meantime, there are a lot of new ignition interlock laws coming into effect this summer.
Texas driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws have been harsh, but as far as penalties go, ignition interlock devices were never really part of the big picture. Now anyone convicted of DWI in Texas with a blood alcohol content less than .15 has the option to install an ignition interlock instead of losing their driver’s license. Prior to the new law, those drivers wouldn’t have been able to drive to work, school, or transport their families.
Connecticut already has an all offender ignition interlock law on record, but July 1st was the day Connecticut closed off loopholes that let offenders avoid their ignition interlocks. Now all DUI offenders, including those people who were ordered to participate in an approved alcohol education program, must install ignition interlock device in their vehicles. The length of time the device will be required depends on whether the driver was over the age of 21, if they are a repeat offender, and if they refused or failed a blood alcohol test.
DMV officials said the length of time drivers are required to use the device depends on whether they are over the age of 21, whether they are a repeat offender and whether they failed or refused a blood alcohol test.
The roads in the United States are getting safer and safer as more ignition interlock laws are phased in. Let’s hope by 2016 more states have passed new and improved ignition interlock laws.