Throughout Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Sun City and surrounding areas, police and prosecutors are continually trying to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads. A personal injury lawyer knows that driving drunk is one of the riskiest things a person can do. In fact, drunk driving can more than double the risk of a motor vehicle accident.
One of the approaches used nationwide to stop drunk driving is to suspend the driver’s licenses of people who drive while impaired. The idea is that the suspension of the license will serve as a punishment and deterrent, and it will also keep potentially dangerous people off of the roads. The question, however, is whether this technique or preventing drunk driving is effective, or whether there may be a better way.
Many have found a solution in ignition interlock devices.
Ignition Interlock Aims to Stop Drunk Driving
The Chicago Tribune reported on one proposal that is being made to end the required automatic license suspension for drunk drivers and instead to impose a uniform requirement that mandates an ignition interlock device for every impaired driver.
An ignition interlock device is installed on a vehicle and makes it impossible for the driver to start the car without first taking a breathalyzer test. The device then requires random driver checks throughout operation. The ignition interlock device thus makes it virtually impossible for a DUI defendant to drive while impaired.
A loss of one’s license is supposed to deter offenders from driving. But some safety advocates do not believe that this is actually what is happening. For some people, bans on driving after DUI are not uniformly imposed. People are able to avoid the ban, negotiate plea deals to lose their license only for a limited period of time, or get hardship licenses quickly and stay on the roads. In some cases, drivers who have suspended licenses end up disobeying the law and driving anyway.
This is why Arizona legislators passed a measure requiring all first-time DUI offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed for a full year. Officials report this has reduced DUI deaths by 45 percent in the state.
Often, motorists continue to drive without a license because they feel they truly have no choice, as they could lose their job and be unable to take care of their families if they do not drive. While there is never any excuse for driving with a suspended license, the fact that people do it can make the roads even more dangerous. A person with a suspended license is likely to try evasive action to avoid police and may be more likely to leave the scene of a motor vehicle collision as a result of the consequences of driving on the suspended license.
Ignition interlock devices may be the solution to this because it allows offenders to still drive, while continuing to monitor them to ensure they are operating the vehicle safely.
If ignition interlock devices were mandated for all drivers nationwide, this could help to ensure that people were not able to start their cars when impaired.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving indicates that the average person drives drunk 80 times before getting caught. Anything can be done to reduce the number of offenders is worth trying. However, a better approach may be to require an ignition interlock device be used in tandem with a license suspension for all drunk driving offenders in order to have the biggest possible impact in deterring DUIs.
Contact a Phoenix accident attorney at Israel & Gerity after your accident. Call 888-900-3667 or visit https://www.ig-law.com to schedule your free consultation. Serving Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Sun City and surrounding areas.