Ignition Interlock Devices May Make Illinois Roadways Safer on New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day is rapidly approaching. It is also reportedly the most dangerous time to be in a vehicle anywhere in the nation. Likely as a result of New Year’s Eve festivities, more people are purportedly killed in alcohol-related accidents on the first day of the year than any other. According to the AAA motor club, the public should enjoy greater protections from impaired motorists.

AAA Traffic Safety Advocacy Director, Jake Nelson, said the organization is concerned about drunken driving and supports tough policies designed to keep those convicted off of the streets. For example, AAA recently came out in support of ignition interlock requirements for anyone who was previously convicted of driving while intoxicated. An ignition interlock device requires a driver to blow into a plastic tube prior to starting a motor vehicle and at a number of intervals throughout the trip. If a driver’s blood alcohol level is .05 or higher, the automobile will not start or will shut off. Nelson claims such devices are the most effective means for keeping impaired motorists off of the nation’s roadways.

A survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reportedly found that about 90 percent of drivers believe their personal safety is threatened when a motorist chooses to drink and drive. In addition, an estimated 97 percent of Americans surveyed stated it is unacceptable for intoxicated drivers to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index also allegedly found that about 80 percent of people feel individuals who were convicted of driving while intoxicated should be required to install an ignition interlock in their personal vehicle.

Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a recommendation in favor of laws that would require ignition interlock devices to be installed in the personal automobile of all first-time impaired driving offenders. NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said such technology would help to decrease or eliminate what is currently the number one killer on roadways throughout the country.

According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, approximately 50,000 motorists are arrested for intoxicated driving in the state each year. An estimated 80 percent of those arrested are reportedly first-time offenders. Since 2009, Illinois motorists who are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol may choose to have an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle for the period of time during which their licenses would typically be suspended. Once the required time frame is over, however, drivers are no longer required to maintain the device.

Regrettably, everyone traveling on the roadways is placed at risk whenever an intoxicated or otherwise impaired motorist makes the choice to drive. Tragically, the wounds that result from a crash with an intoxicated driver are often catastrophic or fatal. If you or a loved one was hurt in a collision with an impaired driver, you need a skilled personal injury attorney to help you protect your rights.

If you were injured by a drunk or otherwise impaired driver, please give the dedicated lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call today at (312) 475-9596. Our experienced Chicago Metro drunk driving accident attorneys are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you protect your rights and help you file your personal injury case. Our committed lawyers are ready and willing to assist you in achieving the financial compensation you deserve based upon the severity of your harm. For a free confidential consultation with a dedicated lawyer, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.

More Blogs:

Another Lockport Township High School Student Killed in Automobile Crash, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 21, 2012
Cicero Cleaning Contractor Dies After Falling Into Chemical Tank in Wheeling, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 18, 2012
Additional Resources:

Caution Ahead: New Year’s Ranks as Deadliest Day on U.S. Roads, by Nancy White, AAA Press Release dated December 26, 2012


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