MADD Ignition Interlock Report 2016 - page 11

Prior to the advancement of ignition interlock
technology, license revocations were the favored
response to a drunk driving offense. Today, however,
studies show that 50 to 75 percent of drunk driving
offenders continue to drive even after losing their
license. The safest way to ensure that these drivers are
sober when they get behind the wheel is to monitor
their driving behavior — and stop them if they attempt
to start a vehicle after drinking.
Unfortunately, people continue to make the dangerous
— and often tragic — decision to drink and drive. Short
of incarceration, which costs taxpayers more than $100
per day, the only physical barrier to prevent an offender
from driving drunk again is an ignition interlock. Any
other program aimed at treating, monitoring and
rehabilitating drunk driving offenders should include
an ignition interlock component to ensure public
safety while offenders address changing their drunk
driving behavior.
LICENSE SUSPENSION
The overwhelming majority of studies on ignition
interlocks relate to recidivism. Because ignition
interlocks help reform behavior, the preventive effects
continue even after the device is removed. Some key
findings:
• Fifteen peer-reviewed studies compiled by the
CDC show a dramatic reduction — 67 percent —
in recidivism comparing offenders with ignition
interlocks to offenders whose licenses were
suspended. Even after the interlock is removed,
offenders who used them are 39 percent less
likely to reoffend (Marques 2010).
• A study of New Mexico’s ignition interlock
device program found that recidivism rates
were reduced by 75 percent for offenders in
the program compared to non-participating
offenders. The study found that alcohol-involved
crashes declined 31 percent between 2002 and
2007. (Roth)
• According toaWashingtonState study, recidivism
among “simple” first offenders dropped by 12
percent two years after they removed the device.
Simple offenders were those with a .08 to .14
BAC. The authors noted that only one-third of the
simple offenders installed an interlock. Had all of
these offenders installed an interlock, recidivism
could have been reduced by 50 percent, the
study found. In addition, the authors wrote, late-
night vehicle crashes were reduced by 8 percent.
The study also recommends that jurisdictions
seek to increase interlock installment rates and
reconsider plea agreements that reduce drunk
driving charges without requiring an ignition
interlock. (McCartt, Leaf Farmer & Eichelberger,
2013)
• A NHTSA study compared recidivism of
multiple offenders with and without interlocks
from 1999-2002. The study compared multiple
offenders who were ordered by the courts to
install interlocks to multiple offenders who were
similarly prohibited from driving but not required
to install interlocks. Multiple offender rearrest
rates were 66 percent lower than the rearrest
rates of those without interlock devices. During
the full study period, including both the time on
interlock and after interlock, the rearrest rate for
those who installed the interlock was 22 percent
lower than the rearrest rate for those without the
interlock.
PREVENTING REPEAT OFFENSES
ALL-OFFENDER LAWS TARGET DRUNK DRIVERS, NOT SOCIAL DRINKERS.
FIRST-TIME OFFENDERS ARE SERIOUS OFFENDERS. RESEARCH INDICATES
FIRST-TIME OFFENDERS HAVE DRIVEN DRUNK AT LEAST 80 TIMES BEFORE
THE FIRST ARREST. (CDC)
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