According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, crashes involving drunk drivers end the lives of approximately 32 Americans per day. Alcohol significantly impairs judgment and coordination – both of which are crucial for safely driving a car. Because of this risk, it’s illegal in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher, except in Utah, where the BAC limit is .05%.
Consequences of a DUI Conviction
Penalties associated with driving drunk can include jail time, expensive fines, attending mandatory DUI school and having your license revoked. These will continue increasing in severity with each DUI offense you commit.
In some cases, a judge may require you to install an ignition interlock device if you want to get your driver’s license reinstated after a DUI charge. An ignition interlock is an aftermarket breathalyzer that prevents drivers from starting their cars if their blood alcohol concentration exceeds the legal limit.
If you have an IID in your car, the engine will not start unless you provide a breath sample that registers an alcohol content below the legal limit. The device will also require additional breath samples for random retests while the engine is running. While state ignition interlock device laws differ, some states only allow you one program violation before the IID locks you out the next time you try and start the car.
Are Ignition Interlock Devices the Future of Cars?
If you ask the average person to envision the cutting edge of automotive technology, they’ll probably picture something like a self-driving electric vehicle. However, if a proposed new law takes effect, it’s more likely the next new car you buy will have a built-in ignition interlock device.
Drunk driving is the largest cause of traffic fatalities nationwide, and all these deaths are preventable tragedies. U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) has introduced a bill that would make ignition interlock devices standard features in every new car rolling off the lot in America. Dingell announced her proposed legislation during a 2019 hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.
If passed, Dingell’s law would take effect in 2024, requiring automakers to install an advanced device that automatically immobilizes the vehicle if the driver tests positive for a blood alcohol concentration higher than .08%. The goal is to prevent DUI offenses, improve public safety and save lives.
Have You Gotten Charged With Driving Under the Influence?
Many people drink heavily for years while managing to avoid significant negative consequences, but getting a DUI can be an epiphany because it will dramatically change your life. If alcohol and drugs are interfering with your relationships, quality of life or ability to carry out your responsibilities, there is no time like today to make a fresh start.
Pillars Recovery is an accredited Southern California drug and alcohol treatment center offering comprehensive, individualized programming for women and men. To learn more about the environment we’ve created and the benefits of starting your recovery journey at the beach, please connect with us today.