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Federal law would mandate ignition interlock devices

Posted on July 10, 2014

Drunk driving deaths devastate countless families each year in Louisiana and the rest of the United States. In fact, more than 10,000 Americans are killed in drunk driving accidents annually.

But what’s perhaps most scary is that Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that the average drunk driver drives impaired an average of 87 times before being caught. What that means is that there are a lot of impaired drivers on the road putting the public in danger.

Members of Congress are hoping to greatly reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road by implementing a federal law that would require all states to force convicted drunk drivers to install ignition interlock devices for at least six months.

Alisa’s Law, which is named after the current MADD present’s daughter who was killed by a drunk driver in 1992, would reduce federal transportation funding to states that do not comply with the law’s requirements by October 1, 2014.

Ignition interlock devices are units that require the driver to pass a Breathalyzer test before the vehicle will start. When alcohol is detected in the breath-test, the ignition of the vehicle will remain disabled. MADD supports use of the devices because they say it’s the most effective way of keeping drunk drivers off of the roads.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, all states already have some type of ignition interlock law on the books. Louisiana is one of 15 states that have a law requiring mandatory ignition interlock consequences for all drunk driving offenses, including first offenses.

What that means is if Louisiana drivers want to continue driving with a restricted license after being convicted of drunk driving or pleading nolo contendere, they have to install a functioning ignition interlock device on their vehicles.

Drunk driving accidents are horrible and put the entire public at risk, which is why we all have an interest in putting an end to the tragedy.

Source: Forbes, “New Ignition Interlock Legislation Aims to Save Thousands From Drunk Driving Deaths,” Tanya Mohn, July 7, 2014