New Mexico’s has been one of the first state’s to implement the new ignition interlock law for driving under the influence, and it has reduced DUI cases by 40 percent.
“It has reduced repeat offenders by between 40 and 80 percent,” said Carl McDonald, an ignition interlock specialist with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
He said the ignition interlock system also has cut down on people driving with suspended licenses.
“Eighty-percent of the people who get a DUI and have their licenses suspended keep driving,” McDonald said. “Using the ignition interlock system, a person can keep their license and stop driving with a suspended license, but they have to drive sober.”
In April, the Alabama Legislature passed an ignition interlock law that went into effect Aug. 1.
An ignition interlock is a device about the size of a cellphone that is wired into a car’s ignition system.
Court officials said a person convicted of DUI must have a device installed in their car. To operate the car, the driver must blow into the device and measure no more than a .02 breath alcohol content.
According to Alabama law, a person is legally drunk if they have a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of .08.