Ignition Interlock Devices Prevent Drinking and Driving More Than Other Methods

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Alcohol related car crashes cost the American economy more than $59 billion every year. About 28 people are killed every day by people who have been drinking and driving. As a consequence of all of this, cities and localities are always looking for ways to keep people who have been drinking off the roads. They are often turning to ignition interlock companies to help. New research indicates that using car breathalyzers can do more to prevent people from driving under the influence than other intervention methods.

According to a press release, put out by Intoxalock, an Iowa based ignition interlock company, when the use of ignition interlock devices is mandated, the rates of driving while under the influence drops dramatically. They cite new research that shows this is one of the most effective ways to keep drunk people from getting behind the wheel. They say they have found a direct connection between the reduction in deaths from accidents involving alcohol.

Another study, that was released in the American Journal of Epidemiology, ride share services like Uber have little or no effect in reducing the number of cases where people drive while under the influence of alcohol. According to that study:

“Uber and similar rideshare services are rapidly dispersing in cities across the United States and beyond. Given the convenience and low cost, Uber has been characterized as a potential countermeasure for reducing the estimated 121 million episodes of drunk driving and the 10,000 resulting traffic fatalities that occur annually in the United States. We exploited differences in the timing of the deployment of Uber in US metropolitan counties from 2005 to 2014 to test the association between the availability of Uber’s rideshare services and total, drunk driving-related, and weekend- and holiday-specific traffic fatalities in the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the United States using negative binomial and Poisson regression models. We found that the deployment of Uber services in a given metropolitan county had no association with the number of subsequent traffic fatalities, whether measured in aggregate or specific to drunk-driving fatalities or fatalities during weekends and holidays.”

By contrast, using the devices made by ignition interlock companies can reduce the number of incidents of drinking and driving. Between 2004 and 2013, it has been estimated that at least 915 lives were saved as a direct result of requiring the use of an ignition interlock device.

According to researchandnbsp;done by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and published in the American Journal of Public Health;

Requiring ignition interlocks for all drunk-driving convictions was associated with 15% fewer alcohol-involved crash deaths, compared with states with less-stringent requirements. Interlocks are a life-saving technology that merit wider use.”

Intoxalock officials say they think people opt to not use ride share services like Uber because it is easier to just get in their own cars. They note that ignition interlock companies can help with this problem when states mandate the use of their products for people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.

“It’s not that there aren’t laws to govern the safe consumption of alcohol or an array of transportation alternatives available to those who drink. The reality is, some choose not to take part in either,” said Leslie Gibbs, Intoxalock Chief Marketing Officer. “They are choosing to drink and then get behind the wheel. That is unacceptable. Intoxalock is working to effectively stop those people who choose to drink and drive from harming themselves and others in the future.

“We know that consumers are using Uber as a means to avoiding a DUI when drunk. Unfortunately, from our perspective, those people are largely the same group that were already calling a friend, hiring a taxi or waiting until they were sober to drive.”

Preventing people from getting behind the wheel of a car or truck after they have been drinking is an important public safety goal. The more research that is conducted on the different ways communities are trying to accomplish that shows that ignition interlock companies have an important role to play in the fight against driving under the influence of alcohol.


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