An ignition interlock device is a tool that prevents an individual from getting behind the wheel of their car if they have been drinking. Some states require all convicted drunk drivers to install these devices, while others only require repeat offenders to install the systems. In Minnesota, we require three-time offenders and anyone with a blood-alcohol concentration over 0.16 to install the system if they wish to drive, and first- and second-time offenders can install the device if they wish to keep some driving privileges after their conviction.
But how successful are these devices at preventing recidivism? Minnesota just released their IID evaluation review, so let’s take a look at some of the findings.
Ignition Interlock in Minnesota
Here’s a look at some of the findings from the report:
- Individuals who had a high BAC at the time of their arrest were 40% less likely to complete the IID program than those with a BAC below 0.16.
- Individuals who completed the interlock program were 39% less likely to get arrested for a subsequent DUI than those offenders who did not complete the program.
- Individuals who were arrested with a BAC over 0.16 were 18% more likely to get a subsequent DUI, regardless of whether or not they completed the program, while people who refused the breathalyzer at the time of their initial test were 29% more likely to get another DUI.
- First time offenders are only 13% less likely a subsequent DUI than someone with multiple DUIs.
- Older drivers were less likely to re-offend than younger offenders. In fact, a one year increase in age was associated with a 0.9% decrease in relative recidivism rank.
- Surprisingly, male drivers are 20% less likely to be rearrested after IID completion than female drivers.
- Ignition interlock devices test individuals before the car starts and while the car is in motion. Researchers found that every time a person fails an initial test or a rolling test, the likelihood of recidivism increases 0.9% and 2.8% respectively.
- Based on the data, ignition interlock devices prevented 12,302 instances of drunk driving. Additionally, although the numbers are skewed a little based on repeat offenders with multiple failed starts, the average person with an IID experienced 5.98 failed initial start-up tests and 1.38 rolling retest failures.
The report suggests that ignition interlock devices certainly help keep drunk drivers off the road, as evidenced by the more than 12,000 failed start-ups, but the report also suggests some ways to improve the program. Their recommendations for keeping the roads even safer through IIDs include:
1. Making the devices mandatory for all DUI offenders.
2. Upgrading systems so that data can be tracked wirelessly, and other technological improvements to allow more efficient data reporting to ensure those more likely to re-offend get quicker intervention.
3. Adding a treatment aspect to the IID program.
4. Increase data availability.
5. Improved education efforts.
For more information about the success of the IID program, take a look at the official report.