A US study is making waves in the world of drunk driving, and the information that’s come out of it could be of good use to the Atlantic provinces as they change their drunk driving laws to include mandatory ignition interlocks.
The American Journal of Preventative Medicine recently released a study that looked at long term statistics on drunk driving crashes, and they’ve summed up what a lot of provinces already know: the use of ignition interlocks will reduce the number of drunk driving crashes.
The study was done by a professor in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Colorado School of Public Health, and it looked at data over a period of thirty two years. The goal was to see how many drunk driving crashes occurred before ignition interlock laws were passed and after, and what the researchers found was hard data to support the effectiveness of ignition interlocks.
Mandatory ignition interlock laws, where the install is required as a penalty after a drunk driving conviction, resulted in a seven percent decrease in drunk driving crashes. That might not sound like a huge decrease, but that’s thousands of people who didn’t crash and weren’t injured or killed because of the device.
Ignition interlocks also resulted in an eight percent drop in drunk driving crashes when the driver had a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.15.
Although a similar study has not been done in Canada, it’s definitely worth a look at, and it’s encouraging that there’s now proof that these devices are saving lives. As Atlantic Canada makes what can sometimes be a rocky transition from voluntary ignition interlocks to mandatory laws requiring them, this device could be a good guide to the benefits of having those new laws in place.