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IGNITION INTERLOCKS How To Use Them Effectively to Reduce Drunk Driving. Richard Roth, PhD. Research Supported By NM TSB, NHTSA, PIRE, RWJ, and MADD. 2013 Lifesavers Conference April 14-16, 2013. One Slide Summary!. FORCE ALL drunk drivers to install IID’s (specific deterrence)

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ignition interlocks how to use them effectively to reduce drunk driving

IGNITION INTERLOCKS How To Use Them Effectively to Reduce Drunk Driving

Richard Roth, PhD

Research Supported By


2013 Lifesavers Conference

April 14-16, 2013

one slide summary
One Slide Summary!
  • FORCE ALL drunk drivers to install IID’s (specific deterrence)
  • Compliance Based Removal
  • Advertise your IID Program (general deterrence)
  • Research your success.

2013 Lifesavers Conference

license revocation vs interlock
License Revocation vs Interlock



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second and third offenders
Second and Third Offenders

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first offenders
First Offenders

2013 Lifesavers Conference


This Is What We Want To Prevent

Drunk Driver Plows into Mexican Bike Race

One Dead, 10 Injured , June 1, 2008

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this is what i want to save
This is What I Want to Save

2013 Lifesavers Conference

my goal is to reduce drunk driving
My Goal isto Reduce Drunk Driving

by research to identify…

and advocacy to implement…

the most effective,


and fair


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44% Lower

54% Lower

62% Lower

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2013 Lifesavers Conference



2013 Lifesavers Conference


Interlocks Up

Fatalities Down

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2013 Lifesavers Conference

federal laws vs research
Federal Laws vs. Research

Before 2012

1. No interlock without prior period of hard license revocation for subsequent offenders.

2. Interlocked offenders may only drive to work, school, or treatment.

1A. Interlocks are more effective than hard revocation.

1B. Most revoked offenders drive while revoked, DWR.

1C. Offenders learn that they can get by with DWR.

2A. Ignored and Ineffectual

2B. Reduces sober-driving training.

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2012 highway bill removes restrictions and offers grants
2012 Highway Bill Removes Restrictions and Offers Grants
  • The Hard-revocation-period-before-interlock for subsequent offenders has been removed.
  • Federal restrictions on where and when an interlocked offender may drive have been removed.
  • Federal grants will be given to states that enforce an all-offender interlock law.

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an ignition interlock is an electronic probation officer
An Ignition Interlock is anElectronic Probation Officer
  • Dedicated Probation Officer in Front Seat
  • On duty 24 hours per day
  • Tests and Records daily BAC’s
  • Allows only Alcohol-Free Persons to Drive
  • Reports All Violations to the Court/MVD
  • Costs Offender only $2.30 per day (1 less drink per day)

Punishes Probation Violations Immediately

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why interlock drunk drivers
Why Interlock Drunk Drivers?
  • Interlocks are the most effective DWI sanction. 99.993% of Interlocked Days are No-DWI days*.
  • They are the most cost-effective sanction. The cost is $2.50/day paid by the offender.
  • They are perceived as fair by 85% of offenders
  • 70% less recidivism than license revocation
  • They are paid for by offenders
  • They supply 24/7 supervised probation

* While 48,274 NM offenders were interlocked for 23,204,035 days, they had 1538 DWI arrests. That’s 1 arrest per 15,000 days

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what works
What Works?
  • All DWI offenders must be included
  • Must be mandatory not just voluntary
  • Avoid hoops: (pre-requisites to interlock)
  • Close loopholes
  • Compliance-Based-Removal
  • Triage to stiffer (and more costly) penalties
  • Indigent support
  • Promotion of General Deterrence

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first offenders are biggest problem
First Offenders are Biggest Problem

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main key to an effective program
Main Key to an Effective Program
  • The key to an effective interlock program is simply getting interlocks installed in the vehicles of arrested drunk drivers.
  • Nothing else…( reporting, inspecting, sanctioning, monitoring)… is as important.
  • These extra program components definitely add effectiveness, but they should be added only to the extent that funds are available.

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model ignition interlock program by dick roth october 10 2012 page 1 of 2
Model Ignition Interlock Programby Dick Roth October 10, 2012 page 1 of 2
  • Mandatory Interlocks as a condition of probation for all convicted offenders. 1 yr. for 1st, 2 yrs. for second, 3 yrs. for 3rd, and 5 yrs. for 4 or more.
  • Electronic Sobriety Monitoring for convicted offenders who claim “no vehicle” or “not driving. Daily requirement of morning and evening alcohol-free breath tests as a condition of probation.(or $1000/yr. for supervised probation)
  • An ignition interlock license available to all persons revoked for DWI with no other restrictions. Allow MVD to set fee to cover cost.

2013 Lifesavers Conference

model ignition interlock program by dick roth october 10 2012 page 2 2
Model Ignition Interlock Programby Dick Roth October 10, 2012 page 2/2
  • An Indigent Fund with objective standards such as eligibility for income support or food stamps.
  • Vehicle immobilization or interlock between arrest and adjudication. Offender’s choice……. By voiding Vehicle Registration until interlock is installed or offender is adjudicated not guilty ..(Alternative: Interlock as a condition of bond)
  • Vehicle forfeiture for driving a non-interlocked vehicle while revoked for DWI.
  • Compliance Based Removal: No end to revocation period before satisfaction of at least one year of alcohol-free driving with an IID. (e.g.. ≥ 5000 miles and ≥ 1 year with no recorded BAC>0.05 by any driver) .
  • Criminal sanction for circumvention of IID.

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evidence of effectiveness
Evidence of Effectiveness
  • Recidivism After a DWI Arrest
  • Recidivism After a DWI Conviction
  • Overall Statewide Recidivism vs. Time
  • Reduction in Alcohol-Involved Crashes
  • Reduction in Alcohol-Involved Injuries
  • Reduction in Alcohol-Involved Fatalities
  • Correlation between Interlocks Installed and Measures of Drunk Driving
  • New NHTSA Comparison Criteria: Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities per 100 MVM
  • Opinions of Interlocked Offenders

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2013 Lifesavers Conference

i 2 increase the incentives
I.2. Increase the Incentives


  • Right to Drive Legally
  • Required for an Unrestricted License
  • Avoid Recording of First Conviction
  • Shred Plate..Right to Re-register Vehicle
  • Condition of Bond on arrest
  • Condition of Probation on conviction
  • Avoid Electronic Sobriety Monitoring
  • Reduce or Avoid Jail time




2013 Lifesavers Conference

i 3 eliminate hoops no pre requisites for interlock
I.3. Eliminate HoopsNo Pre-requisites for Interlock
  • Period of Hard Revocation (Re-define)
  • Fines and Fees Paid
  • Outstanding legal obligations
  • Alcohol Screening and Assessment
  • Medical Evaluation
  • DWI School
  • Victim Impact Panel
  • Community Service

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i 4 close loopholes
I.4. Close Loopholes

Not convicted

Waiting out Revocation Period

“No Car” or “Not Driving” Excuse

Driving While Revoked

Driving a non-interlocked vehicle

Few Warrants for Non-compliance

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i 5 triage up in sanctions
I.5. Triage Up in Sanctions
  • Extension of Interlock Period
  • Photo Interlock
  • Home Photo Breathalyzer
  • Continuous BAC monitoring
  • Treatment
  • House Arrest
  • Jail

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iii 6 what we have learned
III.6. What We Have Learned
  • Given a choice, most offenders choose revocation over interlock …and they keep driving after drinking.
  • First offenders must be included because they are 60% to 80% of all DWI offenders, and almost as likely to be re-arrested as subsequent offenders.
  • There must be an Interlock License available ASAP.
  • Revoked offenders are 3-4 times more likely to be re-arrested for DWI than interlocked offenders.
  • Hard revocation periods just teach offenders that they can drive without being arrested.
  • Judicial Mandates get more interlocks installed than Administrative requirements.

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Sample of 15,109 Interlocked In New Mexico

Arrested In Interlocked Vehicle

N=~92 0.6%

Arrested In Vehicle With a Different License Plate

N=~287 1.9%

Not Arrested While Interlocked

N=14,730 97.5%

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richard roth phd executive director impact dwi richardroth2300@msn com www rothinterlock org
Richard Roth, PhDExecutive Director Impact DWIRichardRoth2300@msn.comwww.RothInterlock.org

Thank You!

Impact DWI Websites



2013 Lifesavers Conference

interlocks are effective cost effective and fair
Interlocks are Effective, Cost-Effective and Fair
  • Interlocks reduce DWI re-arrests by 40-90%
  • They reduce the economic impact of drunk driving by $3 to $7 for every $1 of cost.
  • Interlocks are perceived as a fair sanction by 81% of over 15,000 offenders surveyed.

..But they only work if…

you get them installed.

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VIII. 2. Recidivism vs Duration of Interlock….PRELIMINARY DATA

1 year is Best

More than

2 years is best

A year or more is best

More than

2 years is best

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From T4 101126.sav, T5 101128.spo


Evidence of Specific Deterrence

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iii 1 the new mexico laws
III.1. The New Mexico Laws
  • 1999 Optional Judicial Mandate for 2nd and 3rd DWI
  • 2002 Mandatory Judicial Sanction for 1st Aggravated and All Subsequent Offenders
  • 2002 Indigent Fund
  • 2003 Ignition Interlock License available for all revoked offenders with no waiting period. (Admin. Prog. For All)
  • 2005 Mandatory Judicial Sanction: 1 yr for 1st; 2 yrs for 2nd; 3 yrs for 3rd; and lifetime with 5 yr review for 4+
  • 2005 ALR and JLR periods increased
  • 2009 No Unrestricted License without Interlock Period
  • 2010 Objective Standard for Indigency

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v loopholes that remain in nm
V. Loopholes that Remain in NM
  • “No Car” or “Not Driving” excuse SB306 2011
  • No interlock between arrest and adjudication (Learning, DWI, Absconding) SB308 2011
  • Ineffective Penalty for DWR ..SB307 2011
  • Possibility of waiting out revocation period without installing an interlock
  • No Objective Standard for Indigency
  • Insufficient Funding: Increase Alcohol Excise Tax
  • Refusals and Drugs Warrants for BAC SB387 2011

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38 % Reduction

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2013 Lifesavers Conference

administrative and or judicial
Administrative and/or Judicial
  • In administrative programs, MVD’s revoke licenses of arrested and/or convicted DWI offenders but allow them to drive legally while revoked if they install interlocks.
  • In judicial programs, judges mandate that convicted offenders install interlocks as a condition of probation.
  • Some states have both in series (e.g. Florida) or parallel (e.g. New Mexico).

2013 Lifesavers Conference

basic administrative program
Basic Administrative Program
  • An Interlock Licensing Law that makes an interlock license available to anyone revoked for DWI who installs an interlock
  • Permits driving anywhere anytime in a vehicle with a functioning interlock
  • License Fee offsets MVD costs


Only 10-20% will install. The worst offenders will not.

Most offenders will choose revocation over interlock.

HOOPS: Pre-Interlock requirements will further reduce compliance.

There will be little overall reduction in drunk driving.

2013 Lifesavers Conference

enhanced administrative program
Enhanced Administrative Program
  • Compliance Based Removal; eg 6 months and 5000 miles of no recorded BAC’s > 0.04%
  • Required for reinstatement of unlimited license
  • Vehicle Forfeiture for driving while revoked without an interlock.
  • No Hoops (pre-interlock requirements)


It still is a voluntary program.

Most offenders will choose to drive without a license.

There is a low probability of apprehension for DWR.

The worst offenders will not be interlocked.

Result: many unlicensed and uninsured bad drivers

2013 Lifesavers Conference

basic judicial program
Basic Judicial Program
  • Option for Judge to mandate an Interlock sanction as a condition of probation.


Many judges will not mandate an interlock

Many offenders will plea away interlock sanction

Many offenders will just not comply.

Offenders will claim “not driving” or “no car”.

Those who need it most will not be interlocked.

Result: many unlicensed and uninsured bad drivers

2013 Lifesavers Conference

enhanced judicial program
Enhanced Judicial Program
  • Mandatory Judicial Interlock sanction as a condition of probation
  • Require report to court of installation within 2 weeks
  • One year for 1st, 2 yrs for 2nd, 3 yrs for 3rd, Lifetime for 4th.
  • Compliance Based Removal: with carrots and sticks
  • Home Photo Breathalyzer for those who claim “no car” or “not driving” (Alcohol-free breath twice per day)
  • Offender financed indigent fund with objective standards


Such a program does not yet fully exist.

Requires some administrative components

Often monitoring reduces cost-effectiveness

Possibility of pleas from DWI to careless or reckless

2013 Lifesavers Conference

add on s
Add On’s
  • Focus probation resources on those who do not install IID’s
  • Criminal sanction for attempts to circumvent interlock
  • IID probation review every six months
  • Triage of sanctions for those who are not compliant.
  • No pleas from DWI to careless or reckless driving
  • Interlock as a condition of bond

Suggested Triage for Non-Compliance

Photo Interlock

Require morning and evening breath tests

Screening and Treatment if indicated

Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (eg SCRAM or TAC)

DWI Court

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best practice recommendation
Best Practice Recommendation
  • Combine previous four program in PARALLEL
  • Include “ADD ON’s” and Triage as funds permit
  • Focus probation and MVD resources on those who do not install.
  • Let the interlock sanction tests that are above set-point.
  • Collect monthly reports, but only monitor circumvention.

Collect data for research on effectiveness.

DWI arrests and convictions

license revocations and interlock licenses.

Interlocks installed and removed

A-I crashes, injuries, fatalities.

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vi myths about first offenders
VI. Myths About First Offenders
  • First Offenders Drove Drunk Once
  • Are Not Alcohol Abusers or Alcoholics
  • Are a Negligible Part of the DWI Problem
  • Are Less Likely to be Re-Arrested
  • Are Not Responsible for Most DWI Fatalities
  • √ Interlocks are not cost-effective for them
  • √ Interlocks are a not a fair sanction for them
  • √ Interlocks are not effective for them
  • √ Interlocks are too lenient. Revoke them
  • Sanctions are more important than prevention

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First Offenders Are Not First Offenders

They are multiple offenders who were finally caught.

They have driven an average of 500 times

after drinking before their first arrest.

R. Roth. Anonymous surveys of convicted DWI offenders at Victim Impact Panels in Santa Fe, NM

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VI. 4. First Offenders are Just as Dangerous

as Subsequent Offenders

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what fraction of impaired drivers in fatal crashes are first offenders


What Fraction of Impaired Drivers in Fatal Crashes are First Offenders?

NHTSA Definitions;

Impaired Driver: BAC >= 0.08

First Offender: No BAC Conviction in Previous 3 Years.

92 %

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811155.pdf pp 4-5

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vii truths about young offenders those under 30
VII. Truths About Young Offenders (Those Under 30)
  • Have the highest DWI arrest rates
  • Have the highest re-arrest rates
  • Have the highest DWI crash rates

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DWI Citations Fall Off Dramatically With Age

Underage drinkers do not have the highest arrest rate, but

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Those who have their first DWI before 21 have the highest 5 year re-arrest rate.

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viii miscellaneous findings
VIII. Miscellaneous Findings
  • Females are an increasing fraction of DWI
  • Longer interlock periods are more effective for subsequent offenders.
  • How do interlocked offenders get re-arrested for DWI?
  • Variations in Installation Rate by County.
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Who Dies in Alcohol-Impaired Crashes
  • BAC Limits by Country

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VIII.1. Female DWI’s in NM

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1. Recidivism After a DWI Arrest in NM

77% lower

78% lower

84% lower

76% lower

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three year effectiveness of interlocks for first offenders by bac
Three year effectiveness of interlocks for first offenders by BAC


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2. Recidivism After a DWI Conviction

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3. Overall DWI Recidivism

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Survey of 1513 Interlocked Offenders% who responded agree or strongly agree with each of these statements
  • 88% Helpful in avoiding another DWI
  • 83% Helpful at reducing their drinking
  • 89% Effective at reducing their drunk driving
  • 72% All convicted DWI’s should have interlocks
  • 63% All arrested DWI’s should have interlocks.

2013 Lifesavers Conference

evidence of effectiveness1
Evidence of Effectiveness
  • √ Recidivism After a DWI Arrest
  • √ Recidivism After a DWI Conviction
  • √ Overall Statewide Recidivism vs. Time
  • √ Reduction in Alcohol-Involved Crashes
  • √ Reduction in Alcohol-Involved Injuries
  • √ Reduction in Alcohol-Involved Fatalities
  • √ Correlation between Interlocks Installed and Measures of Drunk Driving
  • √ New NHTSA Comparison Criteria: Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities per 100 MVM
  • √ Opinions of Interlocked Offenders

2013 Lifesavers Conference

evidence of cost effectiveness
Evidence of Cost-Effectiveness
  • Cost of interlocks is less than one third of the savings in the economic impact of the drunk driving crashes prevented. Benefit/Cost ~3.
  • National Research that takes into account benefits other than DWI crashes shows an even greater Benefit to Cost Ratio.
  • In a survey of 1513 Interlocked offenders,

70% agree or strongly agree that The benefits of interlocks outweigh the costs.

2013 Lifesavers Conference

evidence of fairness
Evidence of Fairness

Anonymous Survey of 1513Interlocked Offenders:

80% responded agreeor strongly agreeto: “Interlocks are a fair sanction for convicted DWI.”


Anonymous Survey of 15,641 Convicted Offenderswhile waiting for Victim Impact Panels to start:

81% responded Yes to the question: “Do you think that interlocks are a fair sanction for DWI?

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Where Should We Focus our Sanctions?

In the past we have focused on Subsequent Offenders.

Now we are Focusing

on First Offenders

Many more First Offenders are re-arrested than Subsequent Offenders because there are more First Offenders.

Subsequent Offenders have a slightly higher re-arrest rate.

Data from NM CTS, Plots by Roth 3/1/11

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Interlocked Offenders Have Less Recidivism

For up to 8 Years After Arrest

2013 Lifesavers Conference

i developing an interlock program
I. Developing an Interlock Program
  • Identify Goals
  • Use Carrots and Sticks
  • Eliminate Hoops
  • Close Loopholes
  • Triage Sanctions
  • Research

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i 6 research measures of effectiveness
I.6. ResearchMeasures of Effectiveness
  • Interlocks per Arrested Offender
  • Recidivism of Interlocked vs. Not Interlocked
  • Reduction in Overall Recidivism
  • Reduction in DWI Crashes
  • Reduction in DWI Injuries
  • Reduction in DWI Fatalities

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GoalAn Effective, Cost-Effective, and Fair Ignition Interlock Program That Reduces Drunk Driving Crashes, Injuries, and Fatalities.
  • Get interlocks installed ASAP after DWI.
  • Get all offenders to install.
  • Keep interlocks installed until there is evidence of changed behavior.

Objectives in Performance Terms

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Most Countries Have per se BAC Limits Below 0.08%

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_alcohol_content

2013 Lifesavers Conference

after thoughts
After Thoughts
  • Reaction Time Interlock for Drugged Drivers
  • Diversion Program for first DWI, eg Oregon +
  • Plate Removal on Arrest (leave at jail to be recovered with 1. contract of interlock installation, 2. successful administrative appeal or 3. Judicial dismissal.)
  • Federal Grants for “Enforcing all-offender Interlock Law.” Define Enforcing as >50% inst.

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Ratio for New Mexico

8169 / 9829 = 0.83

2013 Lifesavers Conference

1 general deterrence changing societal attitudes
1. General DeterrenceChanging Societal Attitudes
  • Anti-DWI Advertising
  • Prevention Programs
  • Publicized DWI Checkpoints
  • The General Deterrent Effects of DWI Sanctions

2013 Lifesavers Conference

2 convict more of those arrested
2. Convict More Of Those Arrested
  • Training of police in collecting and presenting evidence of DWI
  • Video cameras on police cars .
  • Eliminate shortages of prosecutors.
  • For judges, publicize the recidivism rate of the offenders they adjudicate.

2013 Lifesavers Conference

3 specific deterrence of sanctions to reduce recidivism
3. Specific Deterrence of SanctionsTo Reduce Recidivism
  • Ignition Interlock Sanctions
  • License Revocation
  • Community Service & Victim Impact Panels
  • Alcohol Screening and Assessment
  • Supervised Probation, SCRAM, 24/7
  • Treatment
  • DWI Courts
  • Jail

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2013 Lifesavers Conference

2010 FARS Data; Plot by Roth