Drunk Driving, and the crashes and injuries that result from them, is a global problem. While it may be impossible (for now) to prevent all drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel, technologies like Ignition Interlock Devices, can at least keep repeat offenders at bay.
An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is one that is wired into the vehicle’s ignition system. In order to start the vehicle, the driver must blow into a tube connected to the side of the ignition. If the driver is intoxicated, the vehicle won’t start. It’s a tool that’s used in all 50 states with the purpose of keeping individuals who have had prior DUI convictions from drinking and then driving. However, laws differ from state to state.
Required Use of IIDs
There 18 states that require the use of IIDs on all offenses (1st, 2nd, etc) with BACs of .08 or higher. Those states are:
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In California, there are 4 counties that have mandated the use of IIDs on all offenses with BACs of .08 or higher: Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare and Sacramento. In other counties of California though, the use of IIDs is discretionary.
There are 18 states that require the use of IIDs only on repeat offenses (2nd, 3rd, etc). Those states are:
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Of these 18 states, 8 of them do require the use of IIDs on a first offense if the offender has a BAC of .15 or higher: Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
FL and MD – Step it Up!
Florida and Maryland also require the use of IIDs for drivers with a BAC of .15 or higher. These two states though have no other requirements for the use of IIDs. That is, a person can have 2 or 3 DUI convictions and, as long as all are under .14 BAC, they will not be required to use an IID (boo!).
Discretionary Use of IIDs
There are 11 states, and also the District of Columbia, that make the use of an IID device discretionary based on the offenders choice (like regaining driving privileges during a license suspension period) or by court order based on a judges, well, judgment. These states are:
It goes without saying that these 11 states and D.C. should reconsider their position on the use of IIDs. Even the NHTSA has released statements that encourage states like these to revise and update their IID requirements.
If you feel that your state’s laws aren’t tough enough or are not being properly enforced, get involved with groups like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), Teens Against Drunk Driving (TADD), and Fathers Against Drunk Driving (FADD). From donations to volunteering to taking action and more, there’s always something for you to do.