What states have ignition interlock laws? The more appropriate question is, ‘What state doesn’t?’ All 50 states now have some form of ignition interlock law on the books, although some make it mandatory while others offer the device as a condition of probation.
The first ignition interlock devices came onto the scene in 1969. At that time they used semiconductor alcohol sensors, and because that type of ignition interlock reacted to non-alcohol sources, they weren’t very reliable. The ignition interlock devices you can now get from Guardian ignition interlock use fuel cell sensors so you know they’re reliable, accurate, and they reduce the likelihood that a drunk driver will become a repeat offender by 67%.
Way back in 1995, Iowa was among the first states who required ignition interlock devices for driving under the influence (DUI) offenders, and their law still requires offenders with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .10 to install the device. Since that time numerous other states have jumped on board, but many are beginning to require ignition interlocks for first time offenders with a BAC of .08 or over.
There are currently 21 states that require mandatory ignition interlock devices for all offenders including Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, and Utah. States like Colorado don’t have a mandatory ignition interlock requirement for a first conviction, but they provide incentives like reduced license suspensions if you install one. California currently has an ignition interlock pilot program that at least one county would like to extend, and in those four areas ignition interlocks are mandatory for all offenders.
The reduction of drunk driving deaths is the reason why Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) now recommend all states adopt a first offender ignition interlock law and set a minimum length of time the offender is to use one. Maybe 2015 will be the year that more states see the safety benefits and adopt ignition interlocks for all offenders.