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Study: ignition interlock devices are working

Even the threat of an interlock device is successfully dissuading potential drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel, according to research. Fear that they will be saddled with the breath-testing device is reportedly reducing instances of drunk driving in states that mandate interlock installation for even first-time DUI offenders, according to an article by the Washington Post and research by Johns Hopkins.

The interlock device, which requires the vehicle operator to blow into them before the engine can start, are reportedly an effective tool to ward off instances of drunk driving.

In fact, according to the research, traffic deaths have decreased by 7 percent in the states that have implemented the mandatory ignition interlocks for DUI offenders.

Where and when are interlock devices mandatory?

Currently, 22 states mandate that first time offenders must have their vehicles outfitted with the ignition interlock devices. In the rest of the U.S., they are required for either repeat offenders or those with egregiously high blood alcohol content.
However, according to the Johns Hopkins study, drivers with no prior arrests or DUIs are also taking into consideration the mandatory installation of interlock devices, suggesting the effectiveness of the mandatory installation.

What are California’s interlock ignition laws?

Currently, most counties leave the installation of interlock devices up to the judge’s discretion, with the exception of Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare and Sacramento counties. If you are convicted of a criminal DUI in those counties, you will be required to instal an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

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