Safety board recommends special drunk driver locks

December 14, 2012 12:00 AM

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) unanimously recommended to have having interlocks installed in cars of people convicted of drunk driving. NTSB, a federal commission, sent its non-binding recommendation to the 33 states that currently don't require special devices for offenders.

Interlocks are devices that require drivers to blow into a breathalyzer to test their blood-alcohol level before starting a car, with the lock capable of preventing the vehicle from turning on until the motorist passes the test, USA Today reports. Individuals convicted of drunk driving would be required to undergo auto repair to have the tool installed on their dashboard.

According to The Insurance Journal, the board cited the fact that drunken driving deaths currently account for approximately one-third of the 32,000 traffic-related deaths in the U.S. each year. Additionally, wrong-way drivers, which account for more than 350 deaths per year, were found to be driving under the influence 69 percent of the time. 

Previously, the NTSB only recommended interlocks for serious offenders - those who had been convicted multiple times were found to have a blood-alcohol level above 0.15 percent. The new, stricter rule set is being applauded by several advocacy groups, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MSN reports. 

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