Ignition interlock devices protect motorists in Detroit, Warren, and Sterling Heights, by preventing people from getting behind the wheel drunk. Ignition interlock devices are currently required for certain drunk driving offenders after a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. A personal injury lawyer knows that these devices can prevent a driver from starting a car while impaired because a motorist must have his blood alcohol concentration checked before the vehicle will turn on.
While it is universally accepted that IIDs have a role to play in preventing drunk driving accidents, it is a more open question regarding exactly when these devices should be mandated.
When Should Ignition Interlock Devices be Used?
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) supports the use of ignition interlock devices for all defendants who have been convicted of impaired driving. MADD states that in locations where these devices are universally required after a DUI offense, the DUI death rate declines by as much as 30 percent. However, MADD warns that even when the law requires ignition interlock devices to be used for all motorists, sometimes courts don't actually follow this requirement and convicted defendants are able to avoid having the devices installed in their vehicles.
While MADD is in support of wider use of ignition interlock devices for offenders, there is another proposal that some are considering as well: ignition interlock devices as a standard feature in every new car. This would mean every driver would need to have his or her BAC checked before driving his vehicle every time he wanted to go somewhere, regardless of whether there was any reason to suspect that he would drink and drive.
HealthDay published the results of a study looking at how this new proposal would impact drunk driving. The study showed that if ignition interlock devices were standard, 1.25 million fewer injuries and 59,000 fewer deaths in drunk driving crashes would happen over a 15-year period. There would be 85 percent fewer fatalities in drunk driving accidents and between 84 and 85 percent fewer DUI collisions in total.
The total savings associated with preventing all of these DUI crashes, injuries, and deaths would be $343 billion. The authors of the study have argued that these costs would more than offset the expenses that could be associated with mandating that ignition interlock devices be installed in all cars.
Of course, there are other concerns besides costs. Some are strongly against a universal IID requirement because of concerns about driver privacy. There is also concern that motorists will be inconvenienced. The Governors Highway Safety Association has indicated that the GHSA cannot support a proposal for universal IIDs at this time because of these concerns. However, if there was strong public support and a way to test a driver's blood alcohol concentration that worked flawlessly and seamlessly, then there may be a shift in attitudes and testing could be standard.
New technologies are developing all the time and perhaps some day in the future, it will be possible to prevent DUI crashes by making it impossible for drivers to start their cars when drunk, without impacting driver convenience or privacy in the process.
A Detroit accident lawyer can help victims in the city and surrounding suburbs including Warren and Sterling Heights. Contact Fraser & Souweidane P.C. at (866) 465-9095 or visit https://www.fsattorneys.com to schedule a free consultation.