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Use of Ignition Interlock Systems Could Prevent Accidents in Atlanta

In Georgia, ignition interlock devices are used to keep repeat drunk driving offenders off the streets and prevent accidents involving these motorists. A new study shows that increased use of such systems can actually help reduce the numbers of repeat drunk driving offenders.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the arrest rates for drunk driving dropped by as much as 67% after ignition interlock devices were installed in offenders’ cars. The researchers point to this as ample proof that enhanced use of ignition interlock devices could help keep more numbers of DUI offenders off the streets, and prevent alcohol-related car crashes.

Atlanta car accident lawyers would agree. In Georgia, the Metro Atlanta area and rural communities struggle with large number of drunk driving offenders. While a typical offender may be punished with license suspensions and fines, very often, these penalties constitute a slap on the wrist, and may not be sufficient to prevent motorists from driving intoxicated again. While criminal punishment is a deterrent, holding at-fault drunk driver’s accountable for the injuries they cause in car wrecks is another way to deter their actions.  According to the CDC:

  • In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
  • Of the 1,149 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2013, 200 (17%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
  • Of the 200 child passengers ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2013, over half (121) were riding in the vehicle with the alcohol-impaired driver.
  • In 2012, over 1.3 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.3 That’s one percent of the 121 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year.
  • Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.


These are alarming statistics, to say the least. Ignition interlock devices have been around for years now, and consist of a breathalyzer device into which the person must blow, for the device to gauge the person’s alcohol levels. If the alcohol level is above a certain limit, the device shuts the ignition down, preventing drivers from starting the car. According to estimates, approximately 200,000 vehicles in the US are currently outfitted with an ignition device.

What I find very encouraging is that resistance to these interlock devices has been losing support. Most citizens in Atlanta and Georgia understand that these devices can help prevent serious or fatal accidents.

Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like discuss your case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.