Drunk driving remains a serious danger for Ohio motorists

Ignition interlock devices may be instrumental in lowering the DUI fatality and recidivism rate in Ohio and across the country.

Ohio motorists should feel safe when navigating the city's roadways each day. Yet, the possibility of being involved in a drunk driving car accident continues to threaten motorists and pedestrians across the state. Mothers Against Drunk Driving reported that 271 people were killed in car accidents involving drunk drivers in 2013, which accounted for 27.4 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities that year. An additional 7,034 people were injured in similar collisions. Although many states across the nation enforce a mandatory ignition interlock device law as a way to decrease drunk driving fatalities, Ohio has yet to enact such a law.

Ignition interlocks save lives

All convicted DUI offenders in 50 states and four counties in California must use an ignition interlock device for a specific period of time, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The use of these devices has shown to be more effective at reducing the number of repeat drunk drivers on the road than simply suspending offenders' driver's licenses. Up to 75 percent of convicted DUI offenders continue to drive with a suspended driver's license, according to MADD. Ignition interlock devices, on the other hand, make it impossible for intoxicated motorists to operate a vehicle. This has led to a 67 percent decrease in the DUI recidivism rate, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The use of IIDs also decreases the prevalence of drunk driving accidents, as well as the drunk driving fatality rate. For instance, New Mexico has seen a 40 percent decrease in the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents. Oregon's DUI fatality rate has decreased by 30 percent through the use of IIDs.

How do ignition interlock devices work?

According to the Century Council, drivers must submit a breath sample into an interlock device before they are able to start the car. The breath analyzing machine determines whether the breath sample is below the preset blood alcohol content limit, which is usually 0.02 percent. Once the car starts, the driver is prompted to submit periodic breath samples in order to keep the car going. If the driver has a high BAC or misses an alert to submit a breath sample, an alarm will sound until the vehicle is turned off.

Drunk drivers can cause injuries and death

Negligent drunk drivers can cause devastating car accidents, serious injuries and even death. People who have been injured or lost a loved one in a drunk driving auto collision may want to contact a personal injury attorney in Ohio. You may be eligible for compensation for emotional trauma, medical expenses, property damage and even wages from time taken off work.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury