The Union-Tribune editorial Dec. 23 (“Don’t start that car / Ignition interlock devices curb DUI deaths”) attributed the drop in New Mexico’s drunken driving fatalities to the interlock mandate that went into effect in 2005.
But, prior to the 2005 interlock mandate, drunken driving fatalities in New Mexico had been steadily decreasing for 20 years. In fact, since 2003 (two years prior to the interlock mandate), New Mexico reduced fatalities through many different efforts, including: appointing a DWI czar, increasing and intensifying police presence, creating a “DrunkBuster” hot line, cracking down on underage drinking, building a DWI Victims’ Memorial, changing the “six-month rule” to allow for a longer period of time for hearing DWI cases, and conducting a ubiquitous anti-DWI advertising campaign.
SARAH LONGWELL
Managing Director American Beverage Institute Washington, D.C.
Original Outlet: San Diego Union-Tribune
In Depth on the Issue

Ignition Interlocks

ABI supports the use of ignition interlock devices for repeat offenders and first-time offenders with BAC levels of .15 or higher, but opposes laws requiring low-BAC first-time offenders to install interlocks. States already lack the resources to ensure that the most dangerous drunk drivers — who are responsible for the vast…
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