Most Americans today are well aware of the deadly consequences of drunk driving, so it may surprise you to learn that drunk driving is still so prevalent. In fact, drunk driving is to blame for nearly one-third of all fatal crashes in America every year.
These crashes are 100 percent preventable, and we are constantly looking for new ways to combat drunk driving and save lives on our roadways.
An ignition interlock is a breath test device linked to a vehicle’s ignition system. Before starting their vehicles, drivers must first blow into the device. The vehicle will not start unless the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below a pre-set standard.
These devices have already prevented many crashes and saved countless lives.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control evaluated 15 peer-reviewed interlock studies and concluded that interlocks reduce the number of drivers who obtain a second DUI by 67 percent. That’s a pretty significant decrease. Consequently, the CDC recommends that these devices be used by all convicted DUI offenders.
But it’s not just studies that show these devices work – the real proof is in the number of lives saved.
I hope we’ll see similar results in Kansas.
DOT strongly supports more widespread use of these devices, and we are providing technical assistance and support to help states move toward increasing their interlock use and strengthening their laws and interlock programs.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), one of our great safety partners, has been pushing for “all-offender” interlock laws as part of its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. And National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland is the honorary chairman of this campaign.
To make America's roads as safe as possible, DOT is committed to continuing our vigorous fight against drunk driving. Interlocks, together with strong law enforcement and the promise of advanced alcohol detection technology will play a major role in eliminating drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.
This holiday weekend and every time you get in the car, put safety first. That means buckling up, turning off your cell phone, and and putting it in the glove box. And remember, if you're over the limit, you're under arrest.