Interlocks in All Vehicles

This paper describes how drinking and driving is responsible for almost 40 percent of fatal road crashes in the United States and around 30 percent of fatal crashes in Australia. First time DWI offenders are responsible for many of these fatalities. Evidence from many researchers clearly illustrates that first time offenders are probably a gross misnomer because these individuals have probably driven between 200 and 2000 times before getting caught for the first time. Interlock programs, in their current form, are not going to prevent first time DWI offenders from crashing vehicles after consuming alcohol. Alcohol interlock programs are effective in preventing drinking drivers from using an interlock equipped vehicle. Until interlocks are installed and operating in every vehicle, drinking drivers will continue to cause death and injury on roads. Interlocks in all vehicles are a long-term goal that must be preceded by effective interlock programs targeting convicted DWI offenders. Unfortunately no state or country has developed a fully effective interlock program that mandates interlocks in vehicles driven by all convicted DWI offenders at this time. Continuous improvement of present alcohol interlock programs is necessary to achieve the longer-term goal. Cost-benefit studies show that interlocks in all vehicles can vary from marginal to positive results, reporting ratios in the order of 8 to 1. Work is needed to more accurately assess the cost of an interlock suitable for all vehicles and the longer-term costs of operating with interlocks in all vehicles. The extremely high costs of alcohol related crashes are well known and create a significant burden on all communities. Lobby groups need to urge politicians to take more action to reduce the incidence of drinking drivers in alcohol related injury crashes. In summary alcohol interlocks in all vehicles remains a goal but an achievable one within the next 5 to 10 years. It has the potential to significantly reduce the 5 percent of the population who continue to drive regularly while intoxicated, causing fatal and serious injury crashes.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Pagination: pp 17-18
  • Monograph Title: Alcohol Interlock Programs: Pushing Back the Frontiers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01053801
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 092007152x
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 8 2007 11:17AM