Indiana is getting closer to mandating a law, which would require all convicted DUI offenders to use an ignition interlock device when driving.
While some Indiana residents find it harmless to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after having a few drinks, statistics show that this preventable act leads to thousands of deaths nationwide each year. Many states across the nation are taking action to prevent drunk driving car accidents by enacting legislation to strengthen the penalties imposed on those found guilty of drinking and driving. Ignition interlock devices are just one of the tools officials use to decrease the drunk driver recidivism rate and to save lives of other motorists on the road.
A growing problem
Drunk driving continues to plague Indiana residents, and the problem seems to be getting worse rather than better. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 779 people in Indiana lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in 2012. Approximately 228 of those fatalities involved drivers who were legally intoxicated, or had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. This is an increase from the 207 drunk driving car accident fatalities that occurred in 2011.
Research shows that 50 to 75 percent of convicted DUI offenders continue to drive despite having a suspended license, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Indiana and many other states are considering alternative ways to reduce drunk drivers from reoffending.
Indiana IID regulations
In order to combat these numbers, Indiana has passed legislation that will take effect in January of next year. MADD reports that a new law passed this year will enable judges to use their discretion in ordering IIDs for first-time DUI offenders. Next year, it is expected that lawmakers will push to mandate IID use for all convicted DUI offenders.
A closer look at interlock devices
These small breath test devices are wired directly into the ignition system of a vehicle. The Century Council reports that before the car will start, the driver must submit a breath sample, which is then analyzed for alcohol content. If the sample has a BAC of over the preset limit, usually 0.02 percent, the car will not start and the information will be recorded in the device. The driver will also be required to submit subsequent breath tests while traveling in order to keep the car going.
Many studies have revealed that IIDs reduce the drunk driving recidivism rate as well as the drunk driving fatality rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, interlock devices reduce the drunk driving recidivism rate by 67 percent.
States that have already implemented laws requiring all convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlock devices have already seen a decrease in their drunk driving fatality rates, including Arizona with a 43 percent decrease and Louisiana with a 35 percent decrease.
When to contact an attorney
People who have been victimized by a drunk driver may want to contact an attorney to explore all of their legal options. Whether you suffer from severe physical trauma due to the accident, are unable to work or have lost a loved one, a personal injury attorney can maximize the amount of compensation you will get for your case.
Keywords: auto, car, accident, injury