The Effectiveness of Ignition Interlock Devices Assessed

In Arizona, the installation of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) is explained in A.R.S. 28-1464. According to the regulation, anyone convicted of driving under the influence may be ordered by court to have an IID installed in their car. The requirement could continue being enforced even after the license of the driver is restored. In some instances, the IID may have to remain in the car for up to one year. IID is essentially a breathalyzer that keeps the engine of the automobile from starting whenever alcohol is detected. While the idea sounds good, is the effectiveness of ignition interlock devices assessed? Recent studies shed some light on the question.

The Effectiveness of IIDs

One of the oldest studies on the effectiveness of ignition interlock devices was published in 1999 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. This was a meta-analysis that brought together 31 clinical works to examine the data.

Researchers found out that the installation of IIDs significantly reduced the risk of repeat alcohol-related traffic offenses. The data suggested that getting re-arrested on DUI charges was reduced by 65 percent in the IID group in comparison to a control group.

A newer study was presented in 2017, once again suggesting that IIDs are an effective measure to prevent DUIs and their consequences.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers found out that states in which IID installation is mandated by law (Arizona is one of them) see approximately 1,250 fewer fatal crashes involving intoxicated drivers than states that don’t have such requirements.

According to researchers, IIDs are effective enough to change behaviors and save lives. This is one of the most studies anti-DUI measures and the huge volume of research consistently proves that IIDs work.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came out with a statement that IID installation reduces repeat offenses by about 70 percent. This statement is in line with what prior research suggests.

Alternative Claims?

It’s interesting to point out that other studies have come to an alternative conclusion about IIDs and their effectiveness.

One study presented in 2004 suggested that the reduction in fatal crashes following the installation of IIDs was only seven percent. This reduction was seen as modest in comparison to the cost of having ignition interlock devices installed and maintained properly.

Another study presented by California DMV showed that IIDs were completely ineffective. The study is a follow-up to a 2002 analysis that showed the number of IIDs installed in the state following a DUI. The aim of the second study was to find out whether IIDs reduced alcohol-related crashes and convictions.

The report states that IIDs do not work in certain contexts. There was some evidence that IID installation produces positive outcomes for repeat offenders but not necessarily for first-time offenders.

Some make the claim that people who want to consume alcohol and drive will always find a way to operate a vehicle. Thus, these experts suggest that education and rehabilitation programs will provide much better results than IID.

Are You Going to Have an IID Installed in Your Car?

effectiveness of ignition interlock devicesIf you have been convicted of a DUI in Arizona, getting an IID in your car will be a likely outcome. Most often, overcoming this requirement is getting the DUI charges dismissed altogether.

An experienced DUI attorney can help you accomplish the goal. Once they become acquainted with the situation, the lawyer will draft an effective defense strategy. Procedural errors, false positive on BAC tests and a failure to protect the defendant’s rights can all be proven and they will lead to the dismissal of the charges.

Do not undertake anything on your own! According to Arizona regulations, IID compliance has to be proved to the MVD every 90 days. If you fail doing so, you risk getting your license suspended indefinitely.