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Ignition-interlock laws help prevent accidents

Nowadays, ignition-interlock devices are commonly used to prevent people under the influence of alcohol from starting their vehicles. The device can measure a driver's blood alcohol level by analyzing their breath. In 1993, states started to implement laws relating to the use of these devices. Currently, all 50 states have these laws, but only 25 or so of them have laws requiring the use of these devices after a DUI conviction. Some states may only require them if the driver had an excessively high blood alcohol level or has multiple DUI convictions.

A recent study reveals that these laws have in fact helped reduce the number of fatal drunk driving car accidents. The study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research, evaluated United States alcohol-related car crashes that occurred from 1982 to 2013.

They found that fatal crashes involving one or more drunk drivers have decreased seven percent thanks to mandatory ignition interlock laws. Researchers predict that approximately 1,250 drunk driving accidents were prevented because of these laws and hope that more states will implement interlock laws for all drunk driving-related offenses.

While ignition interlock devices do help prevent some accidents, many still occur. In the United States, close to 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents every year and thousands more are injured. Those who have suffered at the hands of a drunk driver may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost income. Nothing can change what happened, but damages can make the recovery process easier for many Louisiana accident victims and their families.

Source: CBS News, "Breathalyzer lock laws prevent drunk-driving deaths, study shows," Mary Elizabeth Dallas, Jan. 5, 2017

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