328,743 Things We’re Thankful For Today

be thankful for ignition interlocksToday is the day Americans total up the things they’re grateful for.

On a personal level, we can reflect on how our families and friends have touched our lives this year. Some of us are grateful for good jobs, for good parents or kids, or a warm house or enough food.

Here’s something that everyone in the country can be thankful for.

At last count, there were 328,743 ignition interlocks installed in vehicles around the country. Thanks to the devices, 328,743 vehicles will not start if the driver has been drinking.

Some of those drivers are first-time offenders. But many others are repeat offenders who would drive drunk again – recidivism is a well-known problem with impaired driving. The ignition interlock is all that stands between those people and the possibility of a terrible collision.

We know that interlock devices work because the data from them is logged and counted up. MADD estimates that ignition interlocks have prevented some 1.77 million drunk driving incidents since the devices began being adopted by states.

Ignition interlocks never sleep. They ‘re always on the job, day and night, making sure that the vehicle they’re in charge of does not leave the curb or driveway unless the driver is in proper shape to drive. That’s how they keep all of us safe, every day, all over the country.

Every year more states pass laws requiring all drunk driving offenders to install ignition interlocks. Currently 28 states have such laws, and more states are coming on board. So the number of installed devices is likely to go up in the coming years.

Which would give us even more to be thankful for next year.

In the meantime, we’re thankful not only for the ignition interlocks that keep so many people sober on the roads, and so many people safe on the roads, but for the legislators, public safety advocates, and citizens who have worked to bring about  better ignition interlock laws.

To you, on this day, our thanks.