A year after University of Michigan researchers attested to the advantage of using alcohol ignition vehicle devices, a new study supports this stand.
The new research, conducted by a research team from the University of Pennsylvania, looked into data on car crash deaths recorded in the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration between 1999 and 2013. The data came from 18 states where breathalyzer-equipped car ignition systems were required for drunk driving violators, as well as 32 states without this policy.
Results of the data review revealed that the implementation of laws concerning the use of alcohol ignition interlocks effectively reduced the rate of alcohol-related deaths by 15 percent.
Study author Dr. Elinore Kaufman shared the motivation behind the study through a news release. “The number of times that I have had to talk to a family and tell them that they lost their son or brother or daughter or sister to something so preventable as a drunk driving crash, it’s hard to count even in my short time of practice,” Kaufman said.
The study, which was recently published in the American Journal of Public Health, is a good source of support in preventing drunk driving incidents. Although the policy on using in-car breathalyzers is not required, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is continuing to push the recommendation for all U.S. states to enforce alcohol ignition interlocks for people convicted due to drinking under the influence.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving government affairs officer J.T. Griffin said that having these devices installed in vehicles is beneficial for both driver and the general public. “With the interlock on board, they can’t drive drunk. It’s a win for the offender: They keep their license and can do the basic things they need to do… For us, as law-abiding citizens, they can’t drive drunk and hit us while out on the roads,” Griffin expressed.