Will the U.S. See Safer Roads with Stronger Drunk Driving Laws in 2018?

the concept for drunk driving

2017 is ending, and 2018 is just around the corner. What’s happened in 2017 to make the U.S.’s roadways safer, and what will take effect in 2018 to keep less drunk drivers off the roads?

A Look on Drunk Driving and Ignition Interlock Laws in 2017

This year, drunk driving took a wrong turn and increased for the second subsequent year in a row according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

However, there is an upside. States such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and Georgia, passed stronger Ignition Interlock laws.

Ignition Interlocks in multiple national studies show that they can decrease recidivism in repeat drunk drivers with an all-offender law. This is powerful since drunk drivers with no DUI offenses get behind the wheel at least 80 times before they are caught and convicted.

The U.S. now has 30 states, plus D.C., with an all-offender Ignition Interlock law.

Beyond the U.S., international areas such as Victoria, Australia and Denmark are implementing better Ignition Interlock laws.

Looking to the Future – U.S.’s Drunk Driving Laws and Studies

Some states will implement stronger Ignition Interlock laws in the future that will leave their roadways safer. Oregon, for example, is strengthening its Ignition Interlock vendor requirements and will change its oversight authority from the DMV to the State Police later in 2018.

Although it’ll be in 2019, California is also enacting an all-offender Ignition Interlock requirement that will expand statewide beyond the initial four counties that were a part of a pilot program.

Utah’s BAC Limit of .05
Earlier this year, Utah signed a bill into law that would lower the BAC limit from .08 to .05. Nationwide, the legal limit is .08. The new BAC limit is raising questions from legislators and other groups, and may receive some changes before its effective date on October 2018.

TIRF Releases 2017 Alcohol-Impaired Results
The Traffic Injury Research Foundation released their annual Road Safety Monitor (RSM) results. It shows that more people are realizing there’s safer alternatives than getting behind the wheel drunk, such as ridesharing apps and designated drivers. It also reveals that the number one reason people drive drunk is because they think they are OK to drive.

Ignition Interlocks, Heightened Law Enforcement and DWI Courts Fight Drunk Driving

Although drunk driving fatalities unfortunately rose in 2017, there are solutions working to fight the numbers such as stronger Ignition Interlock laws, enforcement programs and DWI Court programs. DWI Courts are seeing much success with their programs, as well as Ignition Interlocks. The enforcement campaigns in states such as Minnesota saw a rise in DWI arrests, which are keeping more impaired drivers off the roads.

Smart Start in 2017

Smart Start is proud to be a part of the mission to Separate Drinking From Driving®. With our many partners, supporters and team members, we will continue to keep communities safe from the dangerous decision to drink and drive, and save lives with Ignition Interlocks. Clients can get back to their everyday routine by driving again but in a safe way with an Ignition Interlock in their vehicles.

Smart Start’s year was bigger than ever this year. We reached one million Ignition Interlock clients and celebrated 25 years of saving lives. We are looking forward to the New Year as one of the world’s biggest Ignition Interlock providers.

From all of us at Smart Start, we hope you have a happy and safe New Year’s!

Need an Ignition Interlock?

If you must install an Ignition Interlock into your vehicle, choose Smart Start. We will provide a reliable Ignition Interlock, superior 24/7/365 customer service and an affordable program. Call us today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.