The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just published an article, Alcohol paradox: Drop in weekend drinking and driving doesn’t bring drop in fatal crashes involving alcohol, reporting that 7,132 lives could have been saved in 2012 if people with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher stayed off the road. The IIHS touted the efficacy of ignition interlock devices (IID), also known as breathalyzers, that prevent an impaired driver from starting their car if they register a preset level of BAC.
In Washington state, the alcohol ignition interlock law has proven to reduce rates of recidivism after a first-time DUI conviction. In fact, recidivism (or repeating the offense) decreased by about 12% for first-time DUI offenders who were ordered to install an interlock device.
A 2005 study, Ignition Interlocks reduce re-arrest rates of alcohol offenders, found that recidivism was reduced by 64% in drivers with multiple DUIs who were required to install an interlock device.
Ignition interlock devices are instruments which drivers blow into in order to start their car. If the driver blows a blood alcohol content above a preset number, their vehicle will not start.
Washington courts can require an IID if a driver has been convicted of a DUI related to driving a motor vehicle, a driver convicted of reckless driving or a driver convicted of negligent driving.
The period require for an IID can vary depending on the conviction. For a reckless or negligent driving conviction, the person may be required to use the device for a period of six months or more. For a person convicted of DUI or Physical Control of a motor vehicle, for the first offense they may be required to to use the device for at least 1 year; for a second offense at least 5 years and for a third offense for at least 10 years.
Drivers can have the device removed after a prescribed period of time if they haven’t tried to start their vehicle with a BAC of .04% or more.
Bellevue Attorney Represents People Injured in Drunk Driving Accidents
Drivers who have been drinking or using drugs endanger the lives of every other person on the road. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a drunk driver, you may be seeing answers to your legal questions. The Farber Law Group has been representing victims of drunken and impaired drivers for more than 30 years. We work hard to obtain compensation for victims and their families.