When an individual has been convicted of drunk driving, they often are required to have an ignition interlock device placed on their cars. These devices prevent a person from starting a car until they have passed a breath test for driving. States have passed compliance laws that strictly require individuals who have had an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle after a DUI offense to comply with these devices. The devices can only be removed once the person has shown to have complied with the devices for a defined period of time. These compliance laws seem to have much higher success than other methods of preventing repeat offenses and reducing the risk of alcohol – related car accidents.
Those findings come from a new study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The report focused on the effectiveness of compliance- based removal components in ignition interlock device laws. Currently, all states, including Georgia, have some form of ignition interlock device laws which require that they get devices installed in their vehicles that prevent them from operating their vehicle if their system contains more than a certain amount of alcohol. At least 33 states have compliance- based removal laws in place that clearly define conditions that must be met for an exit from the interlock device requirement. Georgia, unfortunately, does not have a compliance- based removal component as part of its ignition interlock device laws.
The Governors Highway Safety Association focused on two states that have compliance – based removal laws and two states that do not have such laws. The study established that states that have compliance -based laws have much lower recidivism rates for drunk driving compared to states that do not have such compliance laws in place. The Governors Highway Safety Association researchers say that there is no way to absolutely confirm that these higher recidivism rates in states that do not have compliance -based removal laws were related to the absence of these laws and that other factors could also play a role. But they also stress that compliance -based removal laws do provide an extra layer of protection that can prevent these auto accidents. The researchers are encouraging states like Georgia to review their ignition interlock laws to identify deficiencies and correct these in order to make these laws more effective.