One Officer Raised Reno DUI Arrests 40%. A Law Could Do More.

Reno NevadaReno police have reported that DUI arrests in the city are up. The reason – a third full-time DUI signed on last October. Since then DUI arrests have climbed 40 percent over the same period in 2015.

This is good news for Reno’s sober drivers and pedestrians, who have another vigilant police officer watching out for them. Any measure that takes drunk drivers off the roads is a boon to public safety.

Ignition Interlocks: More Protection at a Lower Cost

While arresting drivers under the influence is vital work, it’s not the only way to get impaired drivers out from behind the wheel. 29 states now have laws requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, including first offenders. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

Because they immobilize drunk drivers before they pull out from the curb, ignition interlocks save lives every day. In fact, a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that ignition interlocks not only prevented offenders from reoffending – they also functioned as a deterrent for those who might otherwise choose to drink and drive.

And while police officers need to be paid a salary, ignition interlocks are paid for by the offender directly.

The Nevada legislature is now debating a law which would give all those arrested for DUI the option of voluntarily installing an interlock before their trial.

It’s not as thorough as an all-offender interlock law, but it will get the ball rolling. Once the state sees the downturn in repeat DUIs from increased interlock installation, perhaps the next step will be to join the majority of US states and pass an all-offender ignition interlock law.

Who knows – maybe there will be less work for those three Reno officers in a few years.