Today, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a drunk driving reform bill that will require all first-time convicted drunk driving offenders to have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicle as a condition of receiving a temporary restricted license, or “work permit.”

The new law supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) makes Iowa the 32nd state with an ignition interlock law for all drunk driving offenders.

“Iowa now joins 31 other states and Washington, D.C. in recognizing that ignition interlock technology is needed — after the first offense — to stop the horrendous tragedies caused by the leading killer on our roads,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church.” 

Ignition interlocks require drivers to blow into the device before their vehicle will start. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all-offender interlock laws reduce drunk driving recidivism by 67 percent. A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found interlocks reduce the number of impaired drivers in fatal crashes by 16 percent.

“The evidence supporting ignition interlocks just keeps stacking up, which is why MADD is continuing our national movement to pass all-offender ignition interlock laws in all 50 states,” Sheehey-Church said. “We are proud to add Iowa to the growing list of states with this lifesaving law.”

Also today, MADD released an annual accounting of drunk driving attempts prevented by ignition interlocks. Across the nation, ignition interlocks stopped 354,372 drunk driving attempts in 2017 alone, and nearly 2.69 million over the past 11 years.

[source: MADD]