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12/24/2013 8:45:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

DOT Urges Ignition Interlocks for Drunken-Driving Offenders

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued guidelines to help states develop programs to require first-time drunken driving offenders use ignition interlocks that prevent them from operating vehicles after drinking.

The release of the guidelines came as Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, announced the start of a holiday crackdown on drunk and drugged driving.

All states make some use of ignition interlocks, and 20 states and four California counties require the devices for all drivers convicted of drunken driving, news services reported.

"With the help of our law enforcement partners, we're sending a message across the country, today and throughout the holiday season – Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," said Foxx. "And this year, with the release of our model guidelines for ignition interlock programs, we're helping states improve their efforts to enforce safe driving among convicted offenders, which is crucial to ending these unnecessary deaths."

In 2012, deaths in crashes involving alcohol increased 4.6% to 10,322, according to DOT.

NHTSA research has shown interlock devices can cut repeat offenses by 75%.

By Transport Topics

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