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Nathan Gower
English II

Alcohol Interlocks Saving Life’s
Ignition interlocks have been issued in forty-eight states. Presented on June 22, 2000 by Pennsylvania, Ignition interlocks are similar to in-car breathalyzers that measure a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). They prohibit the engine from starting if an alcohol-sensing device registers above a pre-set level, typically around 0.02 BAC. This ignition interlock act started at one state, from there it eventually grew to forty-eight today. Out of the forty-eight states, the interlocks are issued in only fourteen of those states. Interlocks are mandatory when one is convicted of driving with a BAC of 0.08 g/dL or more. In the existence of ignition interlocks, the effort to keep drunk drivers off the road has only been a positive improvement. Some researchers believe the mandatory requirement of fourteen states should be much higher, if not forty-eight. Drunk driving fatalities has been a problem ever since automobiles were first invented, but ignition interlocks have been decreasing fatalities since 2000, with impressive results.

In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Of the 1,210 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2010, 211 involved an alcohol-impaired driver. Although the numbers seem bad, that is much better then what they use to be. According to the U.S. Census Bureau Between 1991, when The Century Council was founded, and 2010, the rate of drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 population decreased 48% nationally. Ignition interlocks are a big contributor to that statistic. A retired police chief Richard J. Ashton, wrote a magazine called “Can Alcohol Ignition Interlocks Save Even More Lives?” According to Ashton, “alcohol-impaired driving fatalities have declined substantially from about 57 percent of...
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