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Interlock devices: Helping to keep people safe on the road

The number of people who were killed in drunk driving car accidents in Tennessee dropped by just over 3 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. State officials are hopeful that the fatality rate will continue to decrease after a new ignition interlock device law took effect in 2013. This law requires all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device on their vehicles for a specific period of time. Statistics show that other states that have implemented similar laws have had favorable results in lowering the number of drunk driving deaths, lowering the risk of car accidents and reducing the number of repeat drunk drivers.

Ignition interlock devices help to keep DUI offenders off the road by disabling their vehicles if they are intoxicated. The device measures the driver’s blood alcohol content level through a breath sample, which is required in order to start the car. If the BAC level is at or above a preset limit, the car will lock up. The driver will then have to wait before he or she can attempt to start the car again.

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that IIDs have been successful at cutting the drunk driver recidivism rate by up to 67 percent. These findings are significant considering that as many as 75 percent of DUI offenders with a suspended driver’s license continue to drive. This puts other people on the road in danger of becoming involved in auto accidents and obtaining serious injuries

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