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14 Pages

Vehicle Interlock Programs: Protecting the Community Against the Drunk Driver

Few events are more tragic than the death of an innocent road user caused by an impaired driver, especially one who continues to drive illegally despite having a suspended license from a prior dlUnken-driving conviction. Drivers with driving-under-the-influence (DUI) offenses are 1.8 times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash of any kind, and 4.1 times as likely to be intoxicated at the time of an accident (Hedlund and Fell, 1992). The odds of involvement in an alcohol-related fatal crash for those with two or more DUI convictions is 36 times higher than that of drivers without such convictions (Brewer et aI., 1994). Efforts to control the recidivism of DUI offenders can be classified under four headings: deterrence, treatment, supervision, and incapacitation. The alcohol interlock is the newest form of incapacitation. This paper reviews past control strategies and introduces worthwhile features of an alcohol interlock program.