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Can ignition interlock devices save lives?

| Aug 28, 2016 | Drunk Driving Accidents

As you navigate the roadways in Knoxville, it is important to keep in mind that you may be traveling alongside an intoxicated driver. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 267 people were killed in drunk driving car accidents in 2014. This accounted for 27.8 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities in the state that year. In 2013, the state enacted a law that requires all people who are convicted of a DUI to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. Since that time, drunk driving deaths have decreased by 3.6 percent, and people hope that the number of people killed in these catastrophic accidents continues to decrease.

One reason why interlock devices help to reduce the DUI fatality rate is that they help to keep intoxicated drivers from operating vehicles. Before a driver can start the vehicle, he or she must blow a breath sample into a tube that is connected to a dashboard monitor. The machine then evaluates the sample for the presence of alcohol. If the driver has a blood alcohol content level that exceeds the set level, the car won’t start. Not only that, but the device will require motorists to submit random breath samples periodically while they are driving.

Studies show that IID’s keep drunk drivers from committing repeat offenses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that interlock devices actually decrease the DUI recidivism rate by up to 67 percent. Even after the device is taken out of the vehicle, 39 percent of people continue to avoid driving drunk.

This information should be used for educational purposes and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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