Ignition interlock devices are a powerful tool in the prevention of drunk driving accidents in Wichita and throughout the country. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that when all DUI offenders are required to use an ignition interlock device after being convicted of a drunk driving offense, there is a 30-percent decline in DUI deaths as a result. A personal injury lawyer knows that MADD has expressed concern because IIDs are not always required for all defendants in DUI cases and because even when they are required by the law, courts do not always enforce the rules and make defendants install the devices.
MADD has been pushing for stricter legislation that would ensure everyone convicted of drunk driving actually must have an ignition interlock device put into his or her vehicle. In Kansas, IIDs are required even after first offenses but this is not the case everywhere. Since 10,000 people die in the United States annually due to ignition interlock devices, thousands of lives could be saved.
One new proposal goes even further than MADD and has suggested that ignition interlock devices simply be a standard feature in every new car so no driver on the roads could start his vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Should Ignition Interlock Devices be Standard?
Requiring ignition interlock devices for convicted DUI offenders is different than making these devices a standard feature in vehicles, since DUI defendants are ordered to have the devices put in their cars only after having been convicted of doing something wrong. Most argue that motorists who have never shown a propensity to drive drunk and who have no criminal record should not have their privacy violated or have to cope with the inconvenience of having their BACs tested before driving.
However, a study published in HealthDay suggests that the tradeoff in requiring these devices may be worth it. The study suggested that the savings from preventing DUI losses could reach $343 billion over a 15-year period of time since DUIs cost about $60 billion per year. The savings would pay for the costs associated with installing the devices.
More important than the monetary savings is the fact that a universally-required ignition interlock device could save 59,000 lives over the course of 15-years and could also prevent 1.25 million injuries.
Since the average person drives drunk around 80 times before getting caught and arrested, an ignition interlock device in all cars could have a big impact. The study found that having these devices installed as a standard feature would reduce the risk of DUI fatalities by about 85 percent and would reduce overall crash risks due to drunk drivers by between 84 and 85 percent.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) stated that it cannot support a universal ignition interlock requirement now. However, if public opinion was in support of one and if there was a way to test a driver's blood alcohol concentration seamlessly and with minimal or no inconvenience to drivers, than the GHSA could change its position and support this mandate.
If you or a loved one has been injured in Wichita, contact Warner Law Offices. Call 866-584-1032 today.