The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday urged all states to require first-time offenders to use ignition interlock programs to try to prevent convicted drunken drivers from operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
It issued program guidelines to states.
All states use ignition interlocks — devices that prevent a convicted drunken driver from starting a car after drinking. But only20 states and four California counties require the devices for all drivers convicted of drunken driving. Nationally, about 1.5 million people are arrested for drunken driving annually; about 300,000 are required to use interlocks. Devices typically cost about $75 to install and drivers have to pay $50 to $75 a month in monitoring costs. Some include cameras and GPS systems.