Colorado Springs DUI attorneys know requiring these devices for first-time offenders involves astronomical costs and negligible benefits.
The interlock ignition device is one that is hooked onto the dash of a vehicle belonging to a DUI offender. It requires the driver to blow into it, much like a breathalyzer. If the reading comes back anything above zero, the vehicle isn’t going to start.
USA Today is reporting that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study that found use of these devices for first-time DUI offenders will decrease the chances that they’ll offend again by about 12 percent. What they fail to mention is that it’s only going to work for the time in which it’s installed in the car – typically about six months. After that, their recidivism rates are unchanged.
What’s also noteworthy about the research is that it is originating from an institution that looks out for the interests of insurance companies – not individuals. The results, in turn, may be a bit skewed.
Colorado is one of 15 states that make ignition interlock mandatory for first-time DUI offenders. There are seven other states that are mulling similar measures.
In Colorado, a first-time offender is required to install the ignition interlock for eight months. A first-time offender with a measured blood alcohol level of .17 or higher must install the ignition interlock for a minimum of 2 years.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, the number of DUI’s and drunk driving fatalities has actually been sloping downward since the 1980s.
There is currently a multi-million dollar federal transportation funding bill that will pay states that make it mandatory. But civil liberties of our citizens should not be for sale.
Officials with the American Probation and Parole Association, weighing in on the issue, have been quoted as saying that interlock ignition programs would cost more than $430 million to supervise across the country – far more than the federal grants that would be handed out.