New Study: Ignition Interlocks Reduce Drunk Driving Deaths by Up to 16%

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MADD Leads National Movement to Pass All-Offender Interlock Laws in Every State

News release

“This week’s new all-offender ignition interlock law in Idaho is another example of MADD’s national movement to expand the use of this technology across the country,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church.

A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) finds a 16 percent reduction in drunk driving fatalities in states that require ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders. The study provides more convincing evidence that Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s (MADD) Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving is focused on the most effective laws by advocating for all-offender ignition interlocks in all 50 states.

“This week’s new all-offender ignition interlock law in Idaho is another example of MADD’s national movement to expand the use of this technology across the country,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “The IIHS study confirms that MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving is the right approach to stop drunk driving.”

MADD started a national movement in 2006 by advocating for ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers as a key part of the Campaign. When the Campaign began, only one state — New Mexico — had an all-offender ignition interlock law. Now, 31 states and Washington, D.C. have laws that require interlocks after the first offense at .08 BAC or higher. On March 26, Idaho became the 31st state when Governor Butch Otter signed into law legislation that requires all first-time drunk driving offenders to use an interlock for one year.

According to the IIHS study, “State alcohol ignition interlock laws and fatal crashes,” drunk driving fatalities are reduced by 3 percent when states have in place ignition interlock laws for repeat offenders only. States that require ignition interlocks after the first offense for offenders with a high BAC experience an 8 percent reduction in alcohol-related fatalities. But authors attribute the greatest impact — the 16 percent reduction in drunk driving fatalities — to laws that require ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders.

Drunk driving remains the leading killer on our nation’s roads. In 2016, 10,497 people were killed in drunk driving crashes.

“If we could reduce drunk driving fatalities by 16 percent in states that we have been working on — states like Massachusetts, South Carolina, Iowa, New Jersey, Michigan and Florida — we would save well over 200 lives in just the first year,” said Sheehey Church. “This is why we are so passionate about supporting all-offender ignition interlock laws, and we won’t stop until we get to all 50 states.”

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 350,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit http://www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

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Becky Ionnatta
@MADDOnline
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