MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) issued a press release on January 5, 2017, titled, New Study Finds Ignition Interlocks Reduce Fatal Drunk Driving Crashes by 7 Percent. The MADD press release applauded “the new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.”
MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving has been a top legislative priority for the organization over the last 10 years. It wants to help pass legislation in every state in the United States and the District of Columbia that would require ignition interlock devices starting with the first offense.
The first-ever ignition interlock report by MADD was released last year showing how many times the device stopped drunk driving across the nation. That number topped 1.77 million drunk-driving attempts.
How does an ignition interlock work?
IgnitionInterlockDevice.org says that an ignition interlock is a device about the size of a cell phone that is wired into the ignition system of a vehicle. Convicted drunk drivers must blow into the device in order to start their vehicle. If they have a measurable amount of alcohol in their system, the vehicle will not start.
In December 2013, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) released model guidelines for states to encourage them to adopt the ignition interlock for first-time convicted drunk drivers and establish a minimum length of time in which offenders must use the interlocks.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, twenty-five states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia have mandatory ignition interlock provisions for all offenses.
Florida ignition interlock law
Florida limits the use of ignition interlocks for all first-time DUI offenders. Under Florida law, §316.193 and §322.2715, the use of an ignition interlock device is mandatory for at least 1 year upon a second conviction if the driver qualifies for a permanent or restricted license and for at least 2 years for any third conviction and for other extenuating circumstances. If a first-time DUI offender was accompanied in the vehicle by a person younger than 18 years of age, the person shall have the ignition interlock device installed for 6 months for the first offense and for at least 2 years for a second offense.
A DWI (driving while impaired) defendant who is placed on probation and who is otherwise permitted to operate a motor vehicle shall be required to operate vehicles equipped with ignition interlock devices for not less than 6 months. In addition, the licensing agency may require any person seeking reinstatement of driving privileges to use an ignition interlock device on his/her vehicle. This requirement can apply to either occupational restricted or regular driving privileges.
Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorneys recommend that anyone injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver contact them for assistance. There are no costs or attorney fees until you win.
Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.