Car Interlock Keeps DUI Offenders Honest
It is well known that alcohol and operating a motor vehicle do not mix. Car accidents due to driving while intoxicated (DWI) can result in property damage and harm to or even loss of life, and police across the United States and Canada are looking for newer and better ways to prevent this outcome. Interlockcup devices are a strong option.
The Facts on Drunk Driving
DWI cases are nothing new, and they persist to this day, as do the consequences. 28 Americans die every day due to drunk driving, and every year, damage and other harm from drunk driving crashes totals to $59 billion. It is clear that something is to be done about these gruesome facts, and police and other regulatory bodies have devised interlockcup technology to fight back against driving after drinking.
What is an Interlock Device?
According to LifeSaver, an interlock device is an item that prevents a car’s operator from igniting the car’s engine if his/her blood alcohol content is above a certain per-programmed level. A breathalyzer is attached, and before igniting the car, the user must exhale into the car breathalyzer. Should the operator pass this test, the car may be started and run as normal. If the test is failed, however, ignition interlock devices will prevent cars from even starting, prevent drunk driving before it can begin. Repeated fails will result in longer delays before the test can be attempted again.
Interlockcup devices can also circumvent a user’s attempt to exploit the system. Once the test is passed and a car starts, at random times during driving, the device will beep and demand a follow-up test on the breathalyzer. If that test fails, the car will honk and flash its lights, and the driver must pull over and shut down the car. (The device will not shut down a moving vehicle on its own, due to safety concerns.) Drinking and driving will not mix as long as a car’s interlockcup device is in place.
Getting a DUI (driving under the influence) can harm a driver’s record and place this burden on them, but often, drivers and police alike realize that merely revoking driving privileges may not be the best solution. Even those guilty of DWI or DUI need transportation to school, college, work, and errands, so as a compromise, a car interlockcup device allows the offender to drive to these necessities while preventing a repeat offense of drinking and driving. A court, the DMV, or a probation office will order the interlockcup device installed, and they collect data from the device as it is used to monitor the offender’s status.
The numbers show that ignition interlock devices give results. For example, they provide a roughly 70% decrease in arrest rates for driving while intoxicated. And even after these devices are uninstalled, the chances of a repeat DUI offense decrease by 39% compared to someone who did not have an interlockcup device installed. In many states, a driver can be arrested and convicted of DWI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or lower, while a breathalyzer will typically not allow someone with a BAC of 0.02 or higher to start the car. Today, in the United States, 150,000 interlocking devices are currently in the cars of repeat DUI offenders, and the number may continue to rise. Putting these interlockcup devices in place ensures that offenders have responsible driving habits while still being able to transport themselves at will.