Why Isn’t Mandatory Ignition Locks Mandatory in Florida?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one-third of the 1.4 million drunk drivers caught annually are repeat offenders. That’s a very small amount of repeat offenders that are caught driving intoxicated a second time. This means that there are lots of drunk drivers on the road that will never be caught.

Most repeat drunk driving offenders are never caught again unless an accident happens. That’s a really scary fact to think about when you consider all of the people on the roads every day. People that you drive next to, walk next to, bike next to, etc. The one thing that prevents a repeat offender from driving drunk again is a mandatory ignition lock.

So why aren’t ignition locks for all repeat offenders in Florida mandatory?

The Fine Print

Ignition locks are mandatory for repeat offenders in all states, but some states only require the locks under certain circumstances. Florida happens to be one of these states. Ignition locks are used in approximately 30% of all drunk driving cases. While that number is a positive thing (the locks have been shown to stop drunk drivers from causing harm to others), it could be much higher.

So why haven’t all states adopted the ignition lock law for all people that have been caught drunk driving in the past? It comes down to state laws and specific cases. Right now, in the state of Florida, ignition locks are only required for repeat and first offenders if the blood alcohol content at the time of arrest (BAC) was 0.15%. That’s twice the national limit of 0.08%.

Mandatory Locks for All

There are hundreds of drunk driving accidents and incidents in Florida each year. Many of those are caused by repeat offenders. An ignition lock seems like such a simple thing, but it could mean the difference between repeat offenders getting behind the wheel and preventing those people from driving drunk once again.