DUI accidents remain stubbornly high at a time when we’ve reduced the overall number of people killed or injured in auto accidents. I’ve got a solution in mind that I’d like to see implemented across the country.
Alcoholism is a disease. So it doesn’t work to tell an alcohol that he or she shouldn’t get behind the wheel and drive while they’re under the influence. What does work in state after state is that after somebody is convicted of a DUI, there’s a way to make sure the vehicle they drive can’t be a lethal weapon ever again.
Several states require the use of ignition interlock, which is kind of like a Breathalyzer thing you’ve got to blow clean into or else your car won’t start. (This kind of technology can even be activated by a parent of a teen who may be drinking.)
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety reports a big reduction in repeat offender DUIs in Washington State when they implemented ignition interlock laws in the state. Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Times reports there is an experimental program in four California jurisdictions requiring ignition interlock for first-time offenders.
This is a very inexpensive technology and I wish it was a requirement in each and every state. Because you never want that phone call or knock at the door from the police saying there’s been an accident.