The News Journal
Your editorial argues that Delaware needs to crack down on the number of habitual drunk drivers with multiple DUIs. Yet Delaware’s new law does not focus on drivers committing a fourth or fifth DUI – it mandates ignition interlocks for every offender, including first-time drunk drivers just over the legal limit.
According to government statistics, 70 percent of all drunk driving fatalities involve a driver with a blood-alcohol concentration of .15 or higher. Dramatically expanding the state’s interlock law pulls focus and limited resources away from supervising these dangerous offenders: Across the country fewer than 50 percent of offenders comply with interlock orders.
Interlocks also aren’t a way to change offenders’ long-term behavior. Research consistently shows that once an interlock is removed, a driver is just as likely to re-offend as someone who never had an interlock at all. Delaware should focus police and parole resources on extending the period of interlock use for high-BAC and repeat offenders who pose the biggest threat to highway safety.
— Sarah Longwell