In 2006, almost 14,000 people were killed in a crash involving a drunk driver. Fortunately, there is a technology that has the potential to eliminate these preventable deaths-the ignition interlock. These sophisticated devices can prevent a vehicle from being driven by a drunk driver. If they are used correctly-in concert with treatment, in addition to hard license suspensions, and in the vehicles until they are no longer needed- they can stop repeat offenses.
People who have previous drunk driving convictions make up approximately one-third of the drunk driving problem in America. These are people who have been failed by a system that has in turn failed to keep the rest of us safe. Even first-time offenses are serious indicators that a person is likely to become a repeat offender. First-time offenders have driven drunk an average of 87 times before they are convicted and most likely have a serious problem with alcohol. Several studies in the United States and Canada have shown that ignition interlocks decrease repeat offenses by 50-90%.
The sad thing is that we have the cabable technology and we know how to reverse the trend, but the laws haven't been passed yet making this technology mandatory for ALL convicted DUI offenders. Only four states have this law -- we need to get it around the country.
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