The use of ignition interlock devices in California

Four counties in California are currently piloting an interlock device program in an attempt to reduce the DUI fatality rate in the state.

In 2012, drunk drivers took the lives of 802 innocent people in California, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. People who choose to drink and drive continue to cause an unprecedented number of car accidents, resulting in devastating injuries and deaths in the state. Nationwide, many states have turned to ignition interlock devices as a way to keep drunk drivers off of the streets.

California's IID pilot program

In an attempt to reduce the growing DUI fatality rate in California, lawmakers are currently piloting a mandatory ignition interlock device law in four counties across the state, including Alameda, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Tulare, according to MADD. This law requires all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders, to use an interlock device in their vehicles for a specified amount of time. The pilot program terminates at the end of 2015 at which time officials will determine whether or not to adopt the program state-wide.

Are interlock devices effective?

Interlock devices are small breath test machines used to evaluate the amount of alcohol in a driver's system. They have proven to be highly effective at reducing the DUI death rate in many states. According to MADD, studies show that even when convicted DUI offenders have their driver's licenses suspended, 50 to 75 percent of them continue to drive.

IIDs make it impossible for drunk drivers to operate their vehicle, as the car will not start if the driver's blood alcohol content level measures higher than the preset limit, according to Tech Hive. Drivers are also prompted to submit breath tests while they are driving in order to ensure they have not consumed alcohol after starting the vehicle. All of the information regarding the breath tests, including any failed attempts to start the vehicle or breath samples that measured over the preset BAC level, is recorded and submitted to the proper department when the vehicle is brought in for its mandatory maintenance appointments.

Many states that require all convicted drunk drivers to use IIDs in their vehicles have seen a dramatic reduction in the number of people killed by drunk driving car accidents in the state. While Arizona boasts a 43 percent decrease in the DUI fatality rate, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Louisiana, New Mexico, Alaska and West Virginia have also seen a significant decrease in DUI deaths.

How an attorney can help

Drunk driving car accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, including paralysis, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage. People who have been victimized by a motorist's decision to drive drunk may struggle to adapt to a life filled with ongoing medical treatments, therapy and emotional trauma. Whether you have lost a loved one or suffer from a serious injury as a result of a drunk driving car accident, it is crucial that you find a knowledgeable California attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve for your case.

Keywords: DUI, injury, accident