How can ignition interlock devices save the lives of innocent motorists?

Ignition interlock devices have been shown to keep drunk drivers off of the road, and may prevent DUI car accidents.

Drunk drivers take the lives of innocent motorists in Las Vegas, Nevada and across the entire country. In fact, 10,302 people in the U.S. lost their lives when they were involved in catastrophic accidents caused by intoxicated motorists in 2013, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Approximately 79 of those deaths occurred in Nevada, making up more than 30 percent of all motor vehicle accident deaths in the state. In an attempt to reduce the number of people who are injured and killed in drunk driving accidents each year, many states have mandated the use of ignition interlock devices by all convicted DUI offenders. Nevada, however, has room to improve when it comes to requiring the use of these lifesaving devices.

What are ignition interlock devices?

Ignition interlocks are essentially breath test devices that are wired directly into a vehicle. The machines measure the driver's blood alcohol content level, and will not allow the vehicle to start if the level is above a preset limit. If the driver submits a breath sample with an alcohol content that reads above the preset limit, the vehicle will lock up and the driver must wait for a period of time before he or she can attempt to start the car. Not only are DUI offenders responsible for covering the installation and maintenance expenses associated with the interlock device, but they must take the vehicle in regularly for maintenance appointments.

Are IIDs effective?

Although DUI offenders may have their driver's licenses suspended by the state, MADD reported that up to 75 percent of convicted DUI offenders continue to operate vehicles with a suspended driver's license. When ignition interlock devices are installed, however, it is virtually impossible for drunk drivers to get back out on the road. Drivers with interlock devices are 67 percent less likely to commit another DUI offense. Even after the ignition interlock device is removed from the vehicle, offenders are 39 percent less likely to drive drunk.

At least 25 states in the nation require all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders with a BAC of 0.08 percent and above, to have IIDs installed in their vehicles. As a result, these states have seen a significant decline in their DUI fatality rate. Louisiana, West Virginia, Arizona and Oregon have all seen a 30 percent drop in the drunk driving death rate.

Exploring your legal options

If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, you or a loved one may suffer from serious injuries. A personal injury attorney in Nevada may be able to help you explore your legal options when it comes to obtaining compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages from work and emotional trauma.

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