Ignition interlocks are similar to in-car breathalyzers that measure a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). They prohibit the engine from starting if an alcohol sensing device registers above a pre-set level, typically around 0.02 BAC.
Government statistics show that drivers who cause the majority of alcohol-related fatalities have extremely high BACs—twice the legal limit in most cases. Interlock technology was developed to keep these chronic alcohol abusers off the road.
But there is a little known effort to build ignition interlocks into all cars as original equipment.
Former MADD Michigan Executive Director Richard Rondeau
One day, we hope in the not too distant future, we hope ignition locks become standard equipment.”
Find out more about ignition interlocks.
Not just anti-alcohol groups.
In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a 5-year campaign to develop ignition interlocks as standard equipment in all vehicles. NHTSA and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety—which is funded by auto manufacturers—have budgeted $10 million to solicit research and development on the widespread use of this in-vehicle technology.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has asked Congress for another $60 million to be allotted annually for alcohol detector development.
Find out who wants interlocks in all cars.
Yes. Automobile manufacturers are already funding the campaign for universal interlocks.
Major manufacturers have all partnered with MADD and NHTSA and are putting millions toward the research and development of universal interlock technology.
Find out more about car manufacturers and interlocks.
The universal application of ignition interlocks will translate into a de facto Prohibition. Soon, anti-alcohol groups and the auto and interlock industries will overcome the technological and regulatory barriers to making these devices standard equipment.
For a myriad of legal and political reasons, universal ignition interlocks will be set at low enough levels to prevent adults from having even one drink prior to driving.
Say goodbye to enjoying a glass of wine with dinner, a beer at a ball game, or a champagne toast at a wedding. The only barrier between these activist groups and a universal mandate is whether or not the public accepts the technology.
MADD President Laura Dean-Mooney
The public, though, has to accept these things, or they won't work.”
Find out how interlocks could lead to a new prohibition.