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Directions in Highway Safety, Summer 2008 Cover Page Download Newsletter pdf
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Summer 2008 | Vol. 10 | No. 4

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Four States Expand the Use of Ignition Interlocks

More states are recognizing the lifesaving potential of alcohol interlocks. So far this year, legislatures in Washington, Nebraska, Virginia and West Virginia have passed legislation increasing the use of alcohol ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) welcomes these new laws as steps forward toward its ultimate goal of eliminating drunk driving. Former MADD president Glenn Birch said "We applaud the significant progress lawmakers have made this year.and urge other states to follow suit by passing tough legislation requiring alcohol ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers."

Man blowing into alcohol interlock

Two states-Washington and Nebraska-have passed laws requiring alcohol interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders. These states join Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana and New Mexico, which have already mandated ignition interlocks for a first offense.

West Virginia has passed a bill that expands the use of interlocks for first-time, high BAC drunk drivers and sets up strong incentives for interlocks on the vehicles of lower BAC offenders. Virginia's new law requires convicted drunk drivers who violate the conditions of a restricted license to install interlocks on their vehicles.

Other states are expected to consider similar legislation this year. According to MADD, bills have already been introduced in or are in development in California, Florida, Colorado, Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Missouri and North Carolina.