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NTSB Recommends Ignition Interlocks for All First-Time DWI Offenders


This news story was published on January 2, 2013.
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WASHINGTON – In its study on wrong-way driving crashes released in December, the National Transportation Safety Board cited alcohol-impaired driving as the leading cause of these collisions and recommended that all first-offender alcohol-impaired drivers be required to have ignition interlocks installed on their personal vehicles.

“The first step to address the number one killer on our roadways is to do what is proven to be effective – use interlocks for all DWI offenders,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.

An alcohol-ignition interlock is a device that prevents the engine from starting until a breath sample has been provided, analyzed for alcohol content and determined to be lower than prescribed limits. Currently, only 17 states require interlocks for first-time offenders.

The NTSB also strongly endorsed the continued development of a passive alcohol-detection technology. The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) would prevent alcohol-impaired individuals from operating their vehicles by detecting alcohol in the driver’s system through breath- and touch-based sensors.

“Technology is the game changer in reducing alcohol-related crashes on our nation’s roadways,” Hersman said. “Achieving zero alcohol-impaired driving-related deaths is possible only if society is willing to separate the impaired driver from the driving task.”

The study found that of the approximately 260 fatal wrong-way collisions that occur each year in the United States, most happened at night and on the weekends, and were in the lane closest to the median. In addition to reducing the number of alcohol-impaired drivers on the road, recommended mitigation efforts to prevent wrong-way accidents include better lighting, enhanced signage and roadway markings, and GPS devices that could provide a warning to alert drivers of wrong-way movements.

And, because older drivers are over-represented in wrong-way collisions, the NTSB asked all states to implement a comprehensive older driver safety program modeled on the one developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The NTSB issued 16 safety recommendations as a result of the special investigation report on fatal wrong-way driving crashes on limited-access highways. The study included data from NHTSA, recent research on this safety issue and a review of nine wrong-way collisions investigated by the NTSB that occurred in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

A complete list of the report’s conclusions and the NTSB’s safety recommendations is available at http://go.usa.gov/gUZe.

A fact sheet summarizing the key findings of the report is available at http://go.usa.gov/gUBx.

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9 Responses to NTSB Recommends Ignition Interlocks for All First-Time DWI Offenders

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Speaking of lumping. If there is a minimum age to drive, why isn’t there a maximum as well?

    • Avatar

      Jason Reply Report comment

      January 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      I agree, at some point the elderly become a danger to themselves and others while driving. My Grand-Father (at 85) was still driving 3 days before his death from cancer. The restrictions on his license were so neumorous that it would have been easier to list when and where he could drive. Has he a menace? Yes, Should he have been driving? No.

  2. Avatar

    Kunstler's Ghost Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2013 at 10:54 am

    This is already the law in Iowa. An IID is required for a temporary restricted license unless your breath alcohol concentration is between .08 and .10 and there’s no accident at the time of the test.

  3. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2013 at 8:08 am

    All these people want to do is to do away with people’s rights. There are many degrees af drunk driving. How can you penalise the person who blows a .08 the same as one who blows a .2 They want to lump everyone together. I have known people who could drink 5 or 6 drinks and act perfectly sober. I have also know people who could not drink two beers without being impaired. The point being, all people are not the same and should not be treated the same. Using the logic of this bunch of eggheads we should bar all non-drinkers because they are in the majority of accidents. If you want to go after old people you had better get ready because there are a lot of them.

    • Avatar

      Jason Reply Report comment

      January 2, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Driving is not a right, its a privilege.

      • Avatar

        LVS Reply Report comment

        January 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm

        @Jason-I have heard that before. What do you think it means? Don’t you think a whole bunch of people voting could change the rules? Look what Obama has done with his class warefare.

      • Avatar

        Jason Reply Report comment

        January 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm

        “All these people want to do is to do away with people’s rightsAll these people want to do is to do away with people’s rights” Its a privilege. It means that you have no inherant right to drive a motor vehicle. The govenment grants you that privilege while holding the driver to its rules and regulations (i.e a valid licence, speed laws . .etc.).

        “There are many degrees af drunk driving. How can you penalise the person who blows a .08 the same as one who blows a .2 They want to lump everyone together.” Its still driving while under the influence. Not DUI under .1 but over .08, nor is it DUI over .1 but under .2.

        “They want to lump everyone together. I have known people who could drink 5 or 6 drinks and act perfectly sober. I have also know people who could not drink two beers without being impaired. The point being, all people are not the same and should not be treated the same.”

        So do you have a easily administered test to quantify the impariment of a driver, one that is also accurate? Didn’t tink so, hence the “lumping” of all drivers into the same category.

      • Avatar

        happyguy Reply Report comment

        January 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

        I never in a million years though I would say this but I agree totally with Jason. Drunk driving is drunk driving. Just because a person acts ok after 5 or 6 drinks he/she really isn’t. He/she has much slower reflexes, worse judgement, and worse power of reasoning. I like most I know have at one time or another driven while legally under the influence. I am not a fuddy duddy. I don’t care if you drink or not. But don’t drink and drive. It just isn’t worth it.

      • Avatar

        LVS Reply Report comment

        January 2, 2013 at 6:17 pm

        @Jason-OK, you do know what it means. Just to show youmy heart is in the right place I can tell you I have a drivers license (Do not Drink, am old by some people’s standards, and have only driven 3 times in the last year. Just don’t feel comfotable driving with my disability. I would drive in a emergency but otherwise I just wait for a ride.