One of my favorite groups, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, just released a report proving how effective ignition interlock devices are in preventing drunk driving. The report concludes that the devices stopped 1.77 million people from driving drunk.
If just 10% of these drunk drivers had crashed into other drivers, at least 200,000 people would have injured or even killed. Wow!
My law firm supports MADD in its efforts to put an end to drunk driving in Texas and across the U.S. Berenson Injury Law sponsors the Fort Worth Walk Like MADD event every year.
I was honored yesterday when the Executive Director of MADD in North Texas, Jason Dersheid, and the Walk Like MADD Director, LoriAnn Gilbert, stopped by to give me this wonderful plaque. Thanks!
Proof that the device really works
For years MADD has advocated for laws that require ignition interlock devices to be installed in the vehicles of all drivers arrested for drunk driving. All states have a law that mandates installation of an in-car breathalyzer for a limited number of drunk driving offenders, such as repeat offenders or those who blew I high BAC.
But only 25 states have laws that require installation of the ignition interlock device for all offenders, including first-time offenders.
New Mexico was the first state to pass an all-offender ignition interlock device law in 2006. Since then, the state’s drunk driving fatalities has decreased by a whopping 22 percent.
Texas Ignition Interlock Laws
Texas finally passed a law last June that expanded the ignition interlock device installation to all offenders in exchange for restricted driving privileges. The law allows drivers convicted of DWI who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or lower to obtain a conditional driver’s license as long as they agree to installation of the ignition interlock device.
Drivers who opt for the device are able to drive to work, take their kids to school and conduct other important daily activities, but prevents the drivers from climbing behind the wheel drunk. It is a win-win for the public and for drivers who used poor judgment once. Defendants have the right to refuse the device and accept a driver’s license suspension.
The Texas law took effect in September, making our state a model for others to pass more restrictive drunk driving laws.
The MADD report proves these devices really work. Installation of ignition interlocks in the vehicles of every person who is convicted of a DUI seems like a no-brainer.
Berenson Injury Law advocates for DWI accident victims
Berenson Injury Law is an experienced personal injury law firm that has helped Dallas-Fort Worth accident victims for more than 35 years. I have seen far too many of the deaths, injuries and damages that these criminals inflict on others.
We must get these drunk drivers off the roads.