Fatal DUI car accidents decrease with alcohol interlocks

Alcohol interlocks are systems designed to prevent repeat offenses of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A recent study found that when state law requires the installation of an interlock system, a 15 percent decrease in car accidents involving alcohol occurs. Fortunately Tennessee is one of the 18 states in which interlocks are mandated for a driver who has been found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

An alcohol interlock is a device installed in a vehicle, which requires a driver to use a breath-testing unit before the motor vehicle can be started. If the device measures a reading above a preset level, the driver will not be able to start the vehicle. It is estimated that at least 915 people's lives had been saved by these systems between 2007 and 2013 in states where the installation of these systems are legally required.

Other organization involved in similar studies have found that alcohol interlock systems have led to a substantial decrease in arrests for DUI driving after the installation of the device. Unfortunately not all drivers install these interlocks once required by law. Some drivers opt to drive with a suspended license. Often, these individuals continue to drive while under the influence and destroy the lives of innocent victims.

When car accidents lead to serious injury or even fatalities due to driver negligence, Tennessee law provides recourse for a victim and or the family of a fatal victim. A driver habitually driving under the influence who decides to ignore the law is clearly reckless and a danger to other road users. A successfully litigated civil case may lead to the award of financial damages, forcing the DUI driver to face the repercussions of his or her actions and hopefully preventing similar tragedies in the future.

Source: iihs.org, "Alcohol interlocks cut crash deaths", Accessed on Aug. 28, 2016

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