DUI conviction study concludes ignition interlocks save lives

If you face a charge of driving under the influence and convicted in Tennessee, it is not something to take lightly. The implications are many and the help of experienced legal representation is always advised. The law relating to this subject is complicated, laced with all sorts of fees and fines for various things; not the least of which is the likely requirement of a driver being required to pay for the rental and installation of an ignition interlock device.

As we have noted in at least one previous post, research indicates that there are some clear advantages to the use of these breath-testing units that prevent a car from starting if the driver has been drinking. The state benefits because it doesn’t have to foot the bill for keeping a person incarcerated. And studies indicate that alternative programs that allow twice-a-day breath checks of offenders reduces recidivism.

Another recent study suggests there may be another clear value in using ignition interlock devices. They can save lives.

That’s the conclusion of a team of researchers in Pennsylvania. They came to it after comparing alcohol-involved crash deaths in 18 states that make interlocks mandatory after a DUI conviction and 32 states that don’t require the devices.

After accounting for several variables, the team associated requiring interlock devices after drunk driving convictions with a 15 percent reduction in alcohol-involved accident fatalities.

This work, combined with the information we shared in our previous post would seem to reinforce the position that many hold to; that programs that don’t simply warehouse violators after offenses tend to be better for all concerned. But even if those programs are employed, those accused should not be burdened with the cost if the evidence isn’t there to support a verdict of guilt.

Source: American Journal of Public Health, “Impact of State Ignition Interlock Laws on Alcohol-Involved Crash Deaths in the United States,” Elinore J. Kaufman, MD, and Douglas J. Wiebe, PhD, accessed March 22, 2016

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