Attitudes toward mandatory ignition interlocks for all offenders convicted of driving while intoxicated☆
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Attitudes toward mandatory ignition interlocks for all offenders convicted of driving while intoxicated☆

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Safety Res
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    Ignition interlocks are effective in reducing alcohol-impaired driving recidivism for all offenders, including first-time offenders. Despite their effectiveness, interlock use among persons convicted of driving while intoxicated from alcohol (DWI) remains low. This cross-sectional survey of U.S. adults assessed public support for requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted DWI offenders including first-time offenders. The goal was to update results from a similar 2010 survey in light of new state requirements and increased interlock installations.


    Questions were included in the Porter Novelli FallStyles survey, which was fielded from September 28 to October 16, 2015. Participants were the 3,536 individuals who provided an opinion toward requiring ignition interlocks for all offenders. For analyses, opinion toward requiring interlocks for all offenders was dichotomized into ‘agree’ and ‘neutral/disagree.’ To handle missing data, 10 imputed datasets were created and pooled using fully conditional specification (FCS).


    Fifty-nine percent of adults supported requiring interlocks for all DWI offenders. Multivariate analysis revealed that persons who did not report alcohol-impaired driving (AID) were 60% more likely to support requiring interlocks than those who reported AID. Having heard of interlocks also increased support. Support was generally consistent across demographic subgroups.


    Interlocks for all offenders have majority support nationwide in the current survey, consistent with previous reports. Support is lowest among those who have reported alcohol-impaired driving in the past 30 days. These results suggest that communities with higher levels of alcohol-impaired driving may be more resistant to requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted DWI offenders. Future studies should examine this association further.

    Practical applications

    These results indicate that the majority of adults recognize DWI as a problem and support requiring interlocks for all offenders.

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