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Ignition Interlock Devices Can Save San Antonio Drivers

San Antonio car accident attorneyIgnition interlock devices save lives throughout San Antonio, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills and surrounding areas by reducing the number of people who get behind the wheel and drive drunk. An ignition interlock device (IID) works by requiring that a driver have his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tested before the driver starts his vehicle. Since a driver physically can't start the car while drunk, it is difficult or impossible to drive while under the influence.

An experienced personal injury lawyer knows that more than 10,000 people die annually in the United States because of drunk driving collisions. IIDs are an important tool used to help prevent future loss of life. However, there is some disagreement regarding exactly when it is appropriate to require a motorist to have an ignition interlock device installed in a car.

When Should an Ignition Interlock Device Be Installed to Prevent Drunk Driving Crashes? 

HealthDay reported on one recent study that was conducted in order to determine the impact of making every driver have an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle, regardless of whether there was any past history of DUI. The study looked at what would happen if ignition interlock devices were simply a standard safety feature in cars.

The study showed that the number of DUI deaths could decline by as much as 85 percent if every single motorist had to have an ignition interlock device installed as a standard feature in his vehicle. Over 15 years, 59,000 lives could be saved and 1.25 million fewer injuries would occur in drunk driving accidents. There would be a cost to adding these ignition interlock devices to cars, of course. However, the study suggests that the cost could be offset because of the reduced spending on DUI losses. If the ignition interlock devices were a standard vehicle feature, around $343 billion could be saved over a 15-year period, which is more than enough to offset the expense of putting the devices in vehicles.

This proposal is not likely to get widespread support, at least not now. Privacy concerns are one big worry, along with the potential for drivers to be inconvenienced by a requirement to have their BAC tested even if there is no reason to believe they might be drunk. The Governors' Highway Safety Association doesn't support the idea of adopting universally required ignition interlock devices for precisely these reasons, although the GHSA has said it could change its opinion in the future if a seamless BAC testing device was developed that could work without inconveniencing drivers and that had public support.

Although universal IIDs are not likely to happen any time soon, ignition interlock devices are accepted as a potential consequence for DUI offenders. Mothers Against Drunk Driving urges the imposition of a requirement that every single convicted DUI offender be required to have one of these devices installed before driving again, instead of the devices being required only under certain circumstances. Texas, for example, only requires an IID after a first conviction with a BAC of .15 or higher. In situations where all DUI offenders must have IIDs in their vehicles, drunk driving deaths have declined by as much as 30 percent.

Contact a San Antonio accident lawyer at the Herrera Law Firm. Call 800-455-1054 or visit for a free case consultation. Serving San Antonio, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills and surrounding areas.

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