Drinking and driving is one of the earliest lessons taught when learning how to drive a car. That still doesn’t stop thousands of DUIs being issued every year.
Alcohol lowers our inhibitions, sometimes making us act in ways we normally wouldn’t. Combine this with the responsibility inherent in operating a heavy vehicle and the results are unsurprising. The high rates of drunk driving in the United States has prompted engineers to create the car breathalyzer, designed to curb repeat drinking and driving by as high a margin as possible. Thanks to ignition interlock companies we’re able to see somewhat safer roads, but the work doesn’t end there. Learning more about the function of the interlock chandler is key to making drinking and driving a detail of the past.
Explore the design of the discreet breathalyzer below and how it can help cut into drinking and driving patterns.
Many today claim to be against drinking and driving. Despite this, getting a DUI remains one of the most common reasons drivers are pulled over in the United States. So serious is this issue that any states can still arrest a driver and convict them with a DUI with a BAC below 0.08%. Utah, for example, has changed the limit to 0.05% to cut into the amount of drinking and driving that’s cropped up over the years. Short for ‘blood alcohol content’, this is a reliable way to determine whether or not a driver was under the influence of alcohol.
It’s also important to remember that drinking and driving includes other elements, too. It’s possible to be convicted of a DUI while under the influence of over-the-counter medication — with allergy medications often causing drowsiness — as well as illegal drugs. A recent estimate found that every day in the United States sees nearly 30 people dying as a result of drinking and driving. Drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher involved in a fatal crash were also five to six times more likely to have a prior conviction. Repeat offenders need more than just a fine to change their behavior.
The ignition interlock is a new form of technology that’s slotted into the vehicle, able to detect alcohol on the breath and stop the driver from hitting the road. The alcohol sensing device will kick in once it registers above a pre-set level, usually 0.02% to 0.03% BAC. Ongoing studies have found nothing but positive results coming from ignition interlock devices. When installed these interlocks are associated with a staggering 70% reduction in arrest rates for impaired driving, a number that could potentially be higher should these become mandatory in all vehicles. That’s not all they can do, either.
Ignition interlock installers are always thinking three steps ahead. Most ignition interlock devices today can not only sense trace amounts of alcohol on the breath, but will prompt the driver to perform a rolling retest every five to 15 minutes after the vehicle is started. It will also prompt more tests randomly throughout the trip to keep up with more erratic behavior. A recent study found interlocks help reduce repeat offenses even after the device is removed. This is as high as 40% compared to offenders who have never once installed an ignition interlock device.
Drinking and driving needs to be reduced as quickly as possible. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes has totaled more than $60 billion and is still not slowing down at the rates many would hope. There are over 150,000 interlock systems and counting in the United States, usually placed for drivers with several DUI convictions. There are pushes to have the car breathalyzer device made mandatory for all cars. These will be set far below the legal limit, too, so these drinking and driving incidents are nipped in the bud.
A preventative measure with powerful results, the interlock cup is one of our best tools to fight drinking and driving.