Drunk driving claims the lives of hundreds of Indianans each year. Despite that fact, and the known dangers of drunk driving, people continue to drive drunk as a matter of habit. In response, some have suggested that Indiana should follow the lead of several other states and implement a new requirement that all first-time drunk driving offenders have an ignition interlock system installed on their vehicle.
What Is An Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock system is a small box, usually attached to the steering column of the car, that a driver must blow into in order to start the vehicle. If the driver is sober, the car starts as normal. If the driver has alcohol on his or her breath, the ignition locks and that data is recorded and sent to the appropriate authorities.
The device also requires random testing while driving, as to prevent drivers from starting the car sober and then having a drink mid-ride. If a driver fails one of these random tests, the vehicle’s horn will continuously go off until the vehicle is stopped.
If the policy is made into law, the driver who was convicted of drunk driving will be responsible for installing and maintaining the device on their vehicle at a cost of about $650 for six months.
Pros and Cons of Ignition Interlock Devices
As a recent article by Wishtv.com notes, interlock devices have both pros and cons. The obvious benefit of requiring these devices is that it will prevent some drivers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. Of course, it can do nothing to prevent people who have never offended in the past (according to one study by the Center for Disease Control, most drivers caught drunk driving had done it 80 times in the past, before getting caught). The bottom line is that, in some jurisdictions requiring the devices has led to a near 30% drop in drunk driving deaths.
The one negative aspect of requiring the devices is the cost to taxpayers. While the drunk driver is responsible for the cost of the device, implementing the mandatory sentencing regime will mean an increased caseload on Indiana courts. The estimated cost of requiring the devices is about $7.6 million a year.
Have You Been Injured By a Drunk Driver?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages to cover your past medical bills, as well as future medical expenses. In addition, jury awards based on drunk driving accidents also often include punitive damages, which are designed to punish defendants for especially reckless or morally reprehensible conduct. To find out more about how to recover damages after being the victim of an Indiana drunk driving accident, contact a dedicated and experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer at the law firm of Parr Richey Obremskey Frandsen & Patterson. Click here, or call 866-987-7277 today to speak with an attorney today.
Bill Designed to Increase the Quality of Care in Nursing Homes One Step Closer to Becoming Law, Indiana Accident Attorneys, February 24, 2014.
What is Summary Judgment in an Indiana Personal Injury Cases?, Indiana Accident Attorneys, February 10, 2014.