Interlocks for all Convicted Drunk Drivers-Missouri & Illinois?
Posted on December 14th, 2012 by Zane Cagle
The National Transportation Safety Board is urging lawmakers around the country to pass laws requiring interlocks for those convicted of drunk driving, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. These devices prevent a car from starting if the driver has any alcohol in their system. They also urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to speed up research on infrared technology that can test a person’s blood-alcohol content by pressing an ignition button. With these technologies, it would make it almost impossible for a driver to operate the car while intoxicated, saving an estimated 7,000 lives per year.
This recommendation comes after a rash of wrong-way collisions killed nine people and injured eleven nationwide in the past week alone. The NTSB analyzed over 1,500 crashes, including nine wrong-way crashes, and found that 59% of wrong-way crashes involved drivers had blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit. This is especially troubling because these wrong-way accidents have such a high fatality rate: 22% of wrong-way collisions are fatal, compared to just 0.3% of all highway accidents. As a Missouri car crash attorney, I have seen the effects of these crashes and can confirm they are indeed devastating.
All of these measures are being examined because drunk driving is such a blight on society. Drunk drivers account for approximately 31% of all traffic fatalities every year, meaning that even a slight reduction will save hundreds, if not thousands, of lives nationwide. In Missouri, hundreds of lives would be saved. This year, through September 4, 554 people had been killed on roads and highways. If 30% of those crashes could be prevented through not allowing people to drive drunk, 166 people might still be with us today instead of included in these sad statistics.
The Missouri car crash attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm have seen too many of our clients injured or killed by drunk drivers. The wrong-way accidents cited above are especially devastating because they often happen at high speeds with little to no time to break. This can cause devastating injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, even wrongful death. And when these injuries are caused by drunk driving, it makes them doubly tragic because they are so easily preventable.
With these statistics in mind, Zane T. Cagle and the Missouri car crash attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm urge everyone to make plans and designate a driver. This holiday season means office parties and family gatherings, and when the eggnog starts flowing, it can be easy to have just a little too much. If you know that you are going to be drinking, be sure to make arrangements and have a sober driver ready for everyone’s safety.