New Research: Ignition Interlock Laws Critical to Eliminate Drunk Driving

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2018

Contact: Kara Macek, kmacek@ghsa.org
202-789-0942 x140

Statement for attribution to Governors Highway Safety Association Executive Director Jonathan Adkins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced new research demonstrating that state laws requiring ignition interlock device (IID) use for all drunk driving offenders reduced drunk driving crash fatalities by 16 percent.

This new study adds to a compelling body of evidence that IIDs are among the most effective drunk driving countermeasures available. Required IID use can deter both initial drunk driving offenses and recidivism. While in use, IIDs also ensure offenders can get needed support and treatment while remaining mobile to work and care for family members. GHSA encourages all states to adopt laws mandating IID use for all offenders.

States are also tackling alcohol-impaired driving head on with enforcement campaigns and other law enforcement support, public outreach, and safe ride home programs.

Alcohol-impaired driving remains one of the leading factors in roadway fatalities. In 2016, an estimated 10,497 people were killed – 28% of all traffic fatalities – in crashes in which at least one driver was over the .08 BAC legal limit. As GHSA’s recent report on pedestrian safety noted, alcohol involvement for the driver and/or pedestrian was reported in nearly half (46 percent) of traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities in 2016.

Despite some successes in reducing drunk driving, the problem remains both substantial and consistent. As a nation, we need to be doing more to address this fundamental traffic safety challenge, and IID use is at the top of the list of proven strategies.

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More information on alcohol-impaired driving, including an issue overview, state laws, publications, and information on state activities, can be found on the GHSA website.

About GHSA

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.