Ignition Interlock Devices around the City to Target Drunk Driving in Chicago

Chicago reported nearly 4,500 DUI arrests in 2010, according to the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists. Although this illustrates a 15 percent decrease from 2009, DUI’s and drunk driving car accidents in Chicago are still a big problem and take the lives of too many innocent people on our roadways.

Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices (BAIIDS) have been placed in the vehicle of every first-time DUI offender since January of 2009. Since the law was first put into effect, the number of “BAIIDS” in Illinois quadrupled to 12,000 a year, according to ABC 7. This program isn’t costing tax payers either, DUI offenders are required to pay for all of the costs to install and operate the BAIID devices. With this device, a convicted driver must blow into the car’s breathalyzer so that it can measure the blood alcohol content before the car can be started.
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This month, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has placed impaired drivers on its “Most Wanted” list. The most wanted list is part of an awareness campaign that aims to increase the public’s awareness of, and support for, actions that can help prevent these drunk driving car accidents. Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that drunk driving accidents can be easily prevented. No one has to drink and drive. Stopping these drivers may come down to stricter punishments for those who have already been busted.

That’s exactly what the NTSB proposes. In an attempt to target these dangerous drivers, the NTSB encourages states to create comprehensive solutions for this problem. They recommend that states conduct sobriety checkpoints, especially during popular holiday periods. They also suggest that a state enact administrative license revocation if a driver fails or refuses a sobriety test. It is important for all states to limit plea bargaining. Currently, 16 states have laws that prohibit plea-bargaining DWI cases. Eight of those states limit the ban to specific conditions, such as when the DWI has caused an injury or fatality. The NTSB recommends that these convicted drivers be assessed and treated to prevent them from operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol in the future.

To reduce recidivism, the NTSB suggests the use of jail alternatives. These alternatives should include dedicated jail/treatment facilities, intensive supervision probation or home detention with electronic monitoring.

So you don’t think drunk driving is a serious enough offense to deserve these restrictions? Consider this. Every 48 minutes, someone is killed in a traffic accident that involves an alcohol-impaired driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 11,000 people were killed in these types of accidents. These alcohol-impaired-driving deaths accounted for more than 30 percent of the all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States that year. Even though we’ve seen a decrease in the number of highways deaths over the last few years, the number of DUI-related deaths has not decreased in the last 10 years.

Nearly 400 people were killed in Illinois from car accidents that involved an intoxicated driver in 2009. The NHTSA reports that a driver usually makes more than 85 impaired driving trips before finally being caught and arrested by authorities.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

NHTSA Releases Stats for Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere , Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, June 24, 2011

Mayor Calls For Stricter Rules after City Employee allegedly caused Chicago Pedestrian Accident , Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 31, 2011

Illinois DUI car accident causes death of woman at Balmoral Park Racetrack , Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 15, 2011