Ignition Interlock Devices v Increased Enforcement
The statistics are clear. DUI offenders will repeat their behavior if given the chance. One-third of DUI offenders are repeat offenders. So what are the ways to stop this behavior before it happens again and again? The choices are simple. States can load the roads with more and more police officers and add DUI check points all over the roads. But those moves do not promise (and cannot promise) to catch all DUI offenders.
Adding more police officers and DUI check points will cost the public a huge amount of money. This burden will rest on the taxpayers. Hiring more officers and paying for overtime would be the only clear way to increase DUI enforcement. Task forces can be put in place, but again, it would be unlikely that drunk driving would ever be completely halted by police officers alone. There are just too many drunk drivers out there, many of who are repeat offenders that are getting away with driving drunk. It is possible that they will never be caught again. This endangers the lives of everyone on the roads.
Statistics show that the possibility of repeat offenders involved in fatal crash is about 1.4 times that of a first time offender and 1.8 times that of a person never convicted of DUI at all. Fatalities cannot be completely stopped by increased law enforcement. Unfortunately, once the DUI offender is behind the wheel, an accident is a real possibility.
That would be nearly impossible. So if increased enforcement is not a viable option, what can be done? Ignition interlock systems do the job that thousands of law enforcement officers cannot do because the device simply doesn’t allow the vehicle to start in the first place. This means repeat offenders won’t have the chance to drink and drive again, thus preventing another DUI offender from threatening the safety of our streets.
If the odds are that a DUI offender will get behind the wheel again, then increasing the amount of police officers on the streets is only a bandaid to the real problem. Chances are, police officers may not catch a DUI offender. Statistics show there are thousands of drunk drivers on the street who never get pulled over for DUI. Ignition interlock systems have the technology to stop a DUI offender from repeat behavior.
Another advantage of the interlock device is that it can detect very low levels of alcohol, so even if a DUI offender is pulled over again, it is possible that a police officer may not be able to pick up on the fact that the driver has some amount of alcohol in his or her system. Ignition interlock devices are sensitive enough to detect even the slightest amount of alcohol.