Interlock laws and alcohol-related crashes

Drivers in New York may be interested in a recent study conducted by researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The results of the study show that state laws mandating the use of ignition interlocks for individuals convicted of drunk driving offenses are a significant factor in the reduction drunk driving crashes that cause fatalities.

The study showed that there was a link between required interlock laws and a 7 percent decrease in fatal vehicles crashes that involved at least one driver who had blood alcohol levels beyond the legal limit. The rate reduction indicates that since 1993, when the first of the laws were passed, approximately 1,250 fatal crashes have been prevented in states with compulsory interlock laws.

An ignition interlock is a device that detects alcohol in a driver’s breath. It is attached to the ignition and prevents the vehicle from being started if the driver has an alcohol level that is over the preset limit. Although all of the 50 states have some form of ignition interlock legislation, as of March 2016, there are only 26 states that have laws that require all individuals who are convicted of a DUI crime to use the interlock.

The researchers examined the various types of interlock laws in all 50 states. They discovered that the mandatory laws for all DUI offenders were significantly more effective than those that could be applied to only some offenders.

A criminal law attorney may assist clients who have been accused of offenses related to drunk driving. Depending on the factors surrounding a case, the attorney may work to negotiate reduced charges or a complete dismissal. The attorney may investigate if a client’s rights were violated during the traffic stop or roadside alcohol testing.

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