AAA Idaho: Ignition Interlocks Needed to Reduce Road Crashes
If there are two things AAA knows, they would be drivers and cars. And the Idaho chapter of the organization, which has been helping motorists for well over a century, has issued a statement urging states to use technology to keep drunk drivers out of those cars. Their solution: ignition interlocks, devices which prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.
Recently the AAA issued a press statement in response to some distressing news:
Idaho’s impaired driving crash fatalities increased 20.8% in 2015. In fact, impaired driving claimed four in every ten road fatalities, with an impaired driving crash resulting in a fatality every 4.2 days.
“Public education and enforcement programs are not enough to turn the tide,” according to AAA spokesman Matthew Conde. Since standard penalties do not seem to be keeping impaired drivers off the roads, technology is the answer. AAA supports mandating ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenses, including first offenses.
The statement cites a recent study which shows the effectiveness of the devices:
An American Journal of Preventive Medicine study shows that state laws requiring interlocks for all drunk driving offenders were associated with a 7 percent decrease in BAC>0.08 crash fatalities.
Another review tackled the problem of DUI recidivism and found impressive results:
The CDC conducted a systematic review of 15 studies on IIDs, and found re-arrest rates for drivers who were required to have the devices installed in their vehicles decreased by a median rate of 67 percent compared to drivers with suspended licenses.
The upshot of AAA Idaho’s statement: law enforcement catches drunk drivers one by one. Ignition interlocks prevent drunk driving on a wide scale.
The AAA intends to work with legislators on behalf of all motorists, who want safe roads for themselves and their families. Their objective is to get more states to pass all-offender ignition interlock laws. Currently 29 states have such laws, but the organization is hoping to build the momentum needed to turn the legislative tide – and stem the tide of alcohol-related road deaths that has hit Idaho so hard.