Do Ignition Interlock Systems Work?

There has been a lot of debate lately in the state of Florida over the mandatory use of ignition interlock systems for all drivers. Supporters of ignition locking systems note that most convicted drunk drivers repeat the offense and that suspending licenses does not always work (many drivers with suspended licenses often drive anyway).

Those opposed to ignition locks state that preventing someone from driving a car after they have served a court-ordered sentence is unlawful and that these drivers should be given a second chance. Further, drivers that have never been accused of drunk driving should not be subjected to an ignition lock.

How effective are these systems and should they be used in the state of Florida? Here’s a closer look.

Some Statistics

An ignition lock is basically a small breathalyzer that is built directly into a car’s ignition system. In order to start a car, drivers must blow into the ignition lock. If a level of alcohol that is above the legal limit is detected, a car will not start.

Those states that have made ignition locks mandatory for convicted drunk drivers have seen first hand just how effective these devices are including the following statistics:

  • West Virginia has seen drunk driving fatalities reduced by 50%
  • 28 states currently have this law in place
  • All states have seen a decrease in drunk driving
  • Fatalities caused by drunk driving in these states have decreased
  • More than 1.77 million drivers in the U.S have been stopped from driving drunk

There are still many states (including Florida) that have not made ignition locks mandatory in all cases. Florida happens to have one of the highest rates of drunk driving in the U.S.

The Current Florida Law

Presently, ignition interlocks are required for repeat offenders and first-time offenders in Florida with a blood alcohol concentration of .15. The legal nationwide limit is .08. Florida seems to have a much higher tolerance for repeat drunk driving offenders than most other states. Many believe that this needs to stop.

We believe that drunk drivers should not be allowed on the roads. It’s that simple. We want to actively put an end to drunk driving. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of drunk driving in any way, please call the Dellutri Law Group today. We want to help.