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Ignition Interlock Devices Help Keep Drunk Drivers Off the Road in FL

Drunk drivers endanger the lives of Florida motorists; however, ignition interlock devices may help to lower the number of drunk drivers on the roads.


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    People who choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while they are intoxicated directly threaten the lives of everyone else on the road. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 10,322 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in 2012, and approximately 697 of those occurred in Florida. This represents 29 percent of all motor vehicle accident deaths in the state. Many states have enacted ignition interlock device laws in hopes of lowering their DUI fatality rate, which has proven to be successful in most cases. Florida, on the other hand, still has limitations on which DUI offenders are required to use the life-saving devices, which may be keeping the state from reaching its full potential in protecting motorists from drunk drivers.

    What are ignition interlock devices?

    Ignition interlock devices are small breath test analyzers that are wired directly into offenders' vehicles. According to the Century Council, offenders are subjected to a breath test in order to start the car, and periodically throughout the ride. If the driver's blood alcohol content level is below the preset amount, which is usually between 0.02 and 0.04 percent, the car will start and allow the offender to continue driving. If the driver should fail to submit a breath sample or has a BAC level in excess of the preset amount, the information is recorded and the driver may be locked out of their vehicle.

    Ignition interlock devices work well to keep intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that IIDs keep 67 percent of offenders off of the road. In many states that mandate IID use for all convicted DUI offenders, driving fatalities have also decreased.

    Reoffenders take lives

    When a law enforcement officer arrests and convicts a DUI offender, it doesn't necessarily keep them from reoffending. MADD explains how 50 to 75 percent of people who have been convicted of drunk driving continue to operate a vehicle, even if their driver's license has been suspended. Research from the CDC also shows that the typical drunk driver operates a vehicle while intoxicated at least 80 times before they are finally arrested.

    A man with a prior DUI record was responsible for causing a catastrophic car accident, which left a 55-year-old woman paralyzed and in critical condition. The man had two previous DUIs and was most recently arrested in April 2014. According to Local 10 News, the man was intoxicated and speeding down the highway when his vehicle smashed into the woman's car, causing it to slide into the median, rotate and flip upside down.

    Contact an attorney

    Vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers can change the course of peoples' lives. Whether you have extensive physical and emotional injuries as a result of an accident, or you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a drunk driver, an attorney can help you navigate through the legal system. You may receive compensation that will help you with medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses and damaged property.

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