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Spring 2011 | Vol. 13 | No. 1
CDC Supports Alcohol Interlocks; Releases New Policy Guide
According to researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ignition interlocks help prevent drivers who were previously arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) from being re-arrested. The conclusion is based on a systemic review of 15 scientific studies on ignition interlocks published in CDC’s Community Guide. Researchers found that after devices were installed, re-arrest rates for alcohol-impaired driving decreased by a median of 67 percent relative to drivers with suspended licenses. CDC joins a host of organizations who support alcohol interlocks including NHTSA, MADD and GHSA.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of CDC, notes, “Each day, more than 30 people die because of alcohol-impaired driving. We know that interlock devices can save lives. More widespread use will reduce alcohol-related crash deaths and injuries.”
Added Dr. Randy Elder who was the lead author on the review, “When offenders’ licenses are suspended, they aren’t legally able to provide transportation for themselves and others may rely on them to get to places like school and work. Ignition interlocks allow offenders to keep operating their vehicles legally and safely.”
CDC is also releasing “Policy Impact: Alcohol-impaired Driving,” one in a series of briefs highlighting key public health issues and important science-based policy actions that can be taken to address this problem. Through the new publication, CDC supports state-based efforts to strengthen policies related to preventing alcohol impaired driving.
GHSA is currently undertaking a CDC-funded research project to evaluate the costs of ignition interlock programs.