Alcoholic Interlocks: The Necessity of Interlocks for All Intoxicated Drivers
Alcoholic Interlocks should be a required legal discipline for all intoxicated driving incidences. There were approximately 11 thousand death due to intoxicated driving in 2010. For these intoxicated drivers, the punishments are high. The punishments include license suspension, fines and in the most severe cases jail time. For a first time offender, the punishment includes a license suspension and typically a large fine. But it has been predicted that about half of first time offenders still drive even with a suspended license. Even though the punishments for intoxicated driving are rising, the punishment for a first time offender rarely if ever changes. There is also very little monitoring of when and if a convicted intoxicated driver with a suspended license were to drive. The absence of monitoring is largely due to the sheer number of convicted intoxicated drivers.
While there were approximately 11 thousand deaths due to intoxicated drivers, in Oregon alone there were over 17 thousand arrests for intoxicated driving. The other part of why there is an absence of monitoring of convicted intoxicated drivers is due to evidence (“Center for Disease Control”). Unless the driver were to confess to driving while intoxicated, the police would need evidence to even suggest the convicted intoxicated driver was driving a car. A suggested relief to this problem is the alcoholic interlock.
Ignition interlocks are similar to in-car breathalyzers. Similarly to a breathalyzer, an ignition interlock measures a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). According to Jayne, O'Donnell the publisher of, "Alcohol detection could be new car option", ignition interlocks prohibit the engine from starting if the device detects any alcohol on the driver’s breath above a pre-set level, typically around 0.02 BAC. Out of the fifty states, the interlocks are issued in only fourteen. Typically interlocks are mandatory when a driver has been is convicted of driving with a BAC of 0.08 g/dL or more for the second time. In the existence of ignition interlocks, the effort to keep drunk drivers off the road has been a positive improvement. Ignition interlocks have been decreasing fatalities since 2000, with impressive results
( ” Jayne, O'Donnell”).
In 2000 there were approximately 13,324 deaths due to intoxicated driving in the United States. That number accounts for approximately half of all traffic related deaths in the United States. Since the introduction of ignition interlocks that number has been reduced to 10,076 deaths in 2013. While the number of deaths are greatly reduced, it still accounts for approximately one third of all traffic related deaths. But it is irresponsible to place the reduction of three thousand deaths nationwide on ignition interlocks alone (“Center for Disease Control”).
In 2000, there were 186 deaths in Oregon due to intoxicated. Out of that number, 146 of those deaths were with at least one person with a BAC .08 or above. In 2012, there were 103 intoxicated driving deaths. With only 86 deaths with one person or more with a BAC .08 or above. Since the introduction of alcoholic interlocks in Oregon, there are approximately 86 less deaths over all from intoxicated drivers. Alcoholic interlocks are proven to be very efficient in protecting not only intoxicated drivers but other drivers as well. Interlocks are so effective many automotive manufacturers are experimenting with putting them in cars (“Center for Disease Control”).
Many automotive manufacturers are beginning to experiment with alcoholic interlocks and the possibility of integrating them into automobiles. According to Jayne O’Donnell, author of “Alcohol detection devices could be option on new cars”, federal funding has been proposed for development of alcohol-detection devices. Alcoholic-detection devices like, alcoholic interlocks, are currently being