A recent study conducted by the Community Guide branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that ignition interlock devices stop people convicted of driving under the influence from re-offending. Reuters reports that the study shows how the reoccurrence of DUI arrests decreases by 67 percent after the ignition interlocks are installed.
The CDC study might push Arizona lawmakers to vote against Senate Bill 1200, which seeks to reduce the amount of time that a first-time DUI offender would be required to have an ignition interlock device. As we reported in an earlier blog post, first-time DUI offenders must currently have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for a minimum term of one year. SB 1200 simply looks to change the law so that the required time would be shortened to just six months after a first-time DUI.
Yet some people might argue that shortening the required time for an ignition interlock device to be in a vehicle would not do as much to prevent offenders committing DUI again. After all, the CDC study provides a strong indication that ignition interlocks are an effective way of preventing drunk driving. Arizona is currently one of the only a few U.S. states that requires an ignition interlock after a first-time DUI arrest and conviction.
Reuters stated that about 1.4 million people are arrested for driving under the influence in the United States each year and about 1 million of those people are convicted. It's possible that we'll see fewer DUI arrests and accidents if there's a greater use of ignition interlock devices in vehicles.