Ignition Interlock Device Report

Criticism of Ignition Interlock Devices from the California DMV

Santa Fe, NM-The California Department of Motor Vehicles‘ (CA DMV) has sparked a controversy with their latest report, which states “there is no evidence that interlocks are an effective traffic safety measure for first DUI offenders.” Ignition interlock devices (IID) are attached to the car’s ignition and require
the driver to perform a Breathalyzer test before the ignition can be turned on.

The report found that IIDs increase chance of crash by up to 130%, and concluded that the use of IIDs should not be condoned.

The controversy centers around the usage of the findings in a March press release from the American Beverage
Institute
(ABI), an association of restaurants committed to responsibly serving alcoholic beverages. The New Mexico legislature and governor will soon decide on the state’s proposed law to implement IIDs in DUI cases. They have been presented with the ABI press release.

The California DMV and anti-alcohol lobbyists focused on findings in the report that counterbalance the critique of IIDs, despite
that such findings were not applicable to the new law. ABI has accused the DMV of glossing over the pertinent issue that interlocks can bring undesirable consequences on the roads-particularly accidents.

The report’s primary writer, David DeYoung, clarified the DMV’s stance on the matter in a subsequent press release, saying, “It’s true that we found court orders to install an ignition interlock device have no
significant effect in preventing repeat DUIs among first-time DUI offenders.”

March 21, 2005

Also See:

You may view a complete copy of the CA DMV Ignition Interlock report (PDF download).


  • An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Ignition Interlock in California
    (September, 2004)
  • An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Ignition Interlock in California (May, 2002)
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