Ignition Interlock Devices Cutting Edge Technology That Saves Lives

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // Car breathalyzer, Interlock device installation tucson az, Interlock tucson

Car breathalyzer prices

Each day in the United States, 28 people die as a result of drunk driving. As devastating as this is to hear on its own, it doesn’t take into account the pain and suffering caused by non-fatal injuries, and the life-altering changes many of these injuries can cause. Thousands of car accident survivors are disabled by their injuries, and many suffer from emotional consequences for the rest of their lives, as do their loved ones. This statistic is horrific enough as it is, but it doesn’t even mention those things. Nor does it mention the fact that if serious changes are not made, drunk driving will remain a problem for the U.S., and in fact possibly get even worse. We need to focus less on making the roads themselves safer, and more on making drivers safer. Drunk driving should be stopped before it begins — and in that way, the drivers who are tempted to drive drunk will be less likely to do so not only once, but for the long term. Alcoholism is a disease, and it affects not only the alcoholic but those surrounding him or her. Let’s look into how ignition interlock devices are changing the way we combat drunk driving — and how they can save lives.

Ignition Interlock Devices: What Are They?

Many remain unsure about what ignition interlock devices are, and how they function. Ignition interlock devices are installed into vehicles of those who’ve had prior incidents regarding drunk driving. However, there is a movement advocating the installation of interlock ignition devices in all vehicles, whether or not the driver has driven drunk previously. Otherwise known as car breathalyzers, these devices require the driver to test their blood alcohol level before starting the car. If the driver’s blood alcohol level registers above a pre-set level — usually around .02 — then the car won’t start. Not only does this let the driver know that they aren’t safe to drive; it prevents them from getting on the road and risking their life and the lives of others. This results in a safer driving experience for all involved, and in essence “trains” the driver not to drink before attempting to drive. It takes any possibility of the person driving drunk out of the equation. These devices can also be pre-set to require a rolling retest five to 15 minutes after the car starts, and randomly throughout the drive. This prevents the driver from drinking after the car has started.

Do These Devices Really Work?

It’s easy to be skeptical of these devices; until you actually understand how they work. Interlock devices target people perhaps at the greatest risk of driving drunk — repeat offenders. Unfortunately, many fatal drunk driving accidents happen due to the fact that repeat offenders don’t stop. An ignition interlock devices can reduce repeat offenses even after the device is removed. This reduction is at 39%, compared to those who’ve never tried the device.

Are These Devices Worth It?

As with any cutting edge technology, these devices do cost money. It might initially be a daunting price — but they’re well worth the money. For one thing, these devices save lives; not only the lives of those potentially victims, but the potential drunk driver his or herself. There is obviously no price that can be put on human life. Furthermore, there is a far higher price associated with drunk driving accidents, even when people survive. For one thing, cars can be completely destroyed in drunk driving accidents, whether or not you get hurt. And repairing — or even replacing — a vehicle is not cheap. Other factors that come into play are medical bills. Even if the driver or other people are not seriously injured, it’s likely that they will be sent to the emergency room — and emergency room visits are always expensive. In total, the annual cost of drunk driving crashes is $59 billion.

The benefits of these devices are undeniable. We must take advantage of what they have to offer.

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