Can Car Interlock Devices Prevent Miami Springs Car Accidents?
According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drunk drivers were less likely to repeat the offence if they had alcohol interlock devices installed in their cars. The study examined drivers who were convicted of drunk driving in Washington. According to the study, the rate of repeat drunk driving offences declined by 12% after Washington State mandated that all drivers convicted of drunk driving install interlock devices on their cars.
The study may suggest that Miami Springs car accidents could be prevented with a similar initiative in Florida. With Miami Springs drunk driving accidents still claiming too many lives and causing too many injuries each year, perhaps it is time to consider mandatory alcohol interlock devices for drivers convicted of DUI offenses.
Alcohol interlock devices work very simply. The devices are installed in a vehicle and the driver of the vehicle must blow into the device before the car will start. If the driver has been drinking, the car will not start. The idea behind the devices is that they prevent drivers with an elevated blood alcohol level from starting and driving their cars. Advocates of the devices say that they prevent drunk driving and physically stop someone from driving their car after drinking. Advocates point out that the devices physically place an obstacle to driving drunk and are more effective than license suspension, since someone with a suspended license can still choose to drive without a license quite easily.
Those who disagree with the Washington program, however, point out that alcohol interlock devices are expensive and do not necessarily prevent someone from drinking and driving. Someone can still borrow a car without an alcohol interlock device and drive that vehicle. A driver with an alcohol interlock device in their car can also fool the system by having someone else blow into the device.
Anne McCartt of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety feels that alcohol interlock devices do work in preventing drunk driving deaths, however. She notes that drivers with DUI convictions are more likely to repeat their offence and be involved in fatal DUI car accidents. As a result, McCartt and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are supporting an initiative that would create a federal law to pressure states to create similar laws as Washington, requiring those drivers convicted of DUI to install alcohol interlock devices. States who initiate such programs would be eligible for additional federal highway funds and might get additional incentives.
Currently, fifteen states require any driver convicted of a DUI to install alcohol interlock devices in their car in order to maintain driving privileges. Twenty-two states require alcohol interlock devices only for those drivers who had very high blood alcohol levels at the time of their arrest and for those drivers who were repeat offenders. Drivers can choose to suspend their driving privileges in most cases, rather than install the alcohol interlock device.
Some experts feel that the devices could be effective in helping prevent some Miami Springs personal injury cases stemming from drunk driving. Even if only a few lives are saved by the devices, these experts suggest, the program is well worth the effort.