It looks like the word is finally getting out about how ignition interlock devices can improve road safety. A number of politicians and journalists have been singing their praises in the past few months and increasing numbers of states are adopting legislation that mandates that the alcohol monitoring devices be installed on vehicles when their drivers are found guilty of a DUI violation.

An ignition interlock device, which can be installed by a qualified auto technician at an auto shop just about anywhere in the US, is designed to monitor alcohol intake before a driver is allowed to start a motor vehicle. Many states, including Colorado, have laws that require ignition interlocks to be installed if a DUI offender is to be allowed to drive a vehicle during the period of mandated license suspension following a conviction for driving under the influence.

Car accident
(photo by kazuaki.h via Flickr)

The devices have the advantage of allowing DUI offenders to stay mobile while keeping other drivers on the road safe. That is why they continue to be adopted by many states. They also don’t cost taxpayers anything because the cost is borne by the convicted driver who must get the ignition interlock installed by a qualified auto technician at an auto shop of his or her choosing.

Some states have gone even further with mandating the devices for all drivers who receive a DUI conviction. Others require that a camera device be installed alongside the ignition interlock so that a picture can verify that the driver is in fact the one doing the breath testing. Unfortunately, some people were abusing the tests by having a sober driver breathe into the device for them.

Many an auto shop has started to see significant business from these ignition interlock installs and it has helped several smaller shops whether the economic downturn and keep good, well-paying jobs for many auto technicians. In the future, the business is only expected to improve as more states take advantage of the safety advantages of the ignition interlock.