Benefits of Installing Interlocks for DUIsMay 17, 2018
Despite the strict laws against drunk driving, nearly 30 people are fatally injured in alcohol-related car accidents every day in this country. While those numbers have declined over the past few decades, drunk driving accidents continue to claim the lives of too many Americans each year. Many safety officials believe that ignition interlocks may help prevent some of these fatalities. According to a study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), installing ignition interlock devices in the vehicles of all DUI offenders is effective at reducing the number of fatal wrecks by 16 percent. This translates into over 500 lives saved each year if all states passed a law requiring ignition interlocks.
Interlock Laws Reduce DUI-Related Fatalities
As part of their study, IIHS researchers compared the number of impaired drivers who were involved in fatal crashes to the number of non-impaired drivers who were in fatal accidents. Wherein ignition interlock devices were required for all DUI offenders, it lowered the number of fatalities by 16 percent compared to instances where there was no interlock law. Laws that require repeat offenders to install ignition interlocks only reduced the number of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 by three percent. In addition to preventing repeat offenses, IIHS officials hope that the law will deter people from driving drunk in the first place.
Twenty-eight states, including Maryland and Washington, D.C., have an interlock requirement for previous offenders. In the state of Maryland, an ignition interlock is required after a first offense if the person’s BAC is .15 or higher. This replaces the previous law, which required ignition interlock devices for people with two or more offenses. Prior to the new law, it would be up to a judge to decide whether to enforce the ignition interlock law in cases involving first time offenders.
When the device is installed in the driver’s vehicle, they must blow into a tube that measures the presence of alcohol in their system. If the device detects a level of alcohol that would be considered legally impaired, the vehicle will not start. There are several benefits associated with enforcing the interlock law, including protecting other drivers by keeping impaired drivers off the road. In addition, it allows first time DUI offenders to be able to drive, which means they can continue to drive to work and meet other responsibilities that require them to drive.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a drunk driving accident, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. Drunk driving accidents are completely preventable if people avoid driving while intoxicated. Our dedicated team will seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve and ensure that the negligent party is held responsible for their actions. We will continue to fight for you until justice has been served. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.