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Connecticut Becomes 15th State to Require Ignition Interlock Devices for Drunk Drivers

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Connecticut has become the 15th state to require ignition interlock devices for people convicted of drunk driving. The devices are required even for first-time offenders, according to MSNBC. Four counties in California are implementing a similar pilot program. Drivers who have had an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle must blow into it to determine their blood alcohol level before they can start the car.

At least 24 other states require the devices for repeat offenders, or for those with blood alcohol levels of .15 or more, the newspaper reports. In some states, requiring interlock ignition devices is left to the discretion of judges. In Nevada, licenses are revoked for shorter periods for convicted drivers who agree to use the devices.

Convicted drunk drivers are generally required to pay for the ignition interlock devices.

A review of 15 research studies published last year found that interlock devices significantly reduce the likelihood that people convicted of driving while drunk will reoffend. When installed, interlocks are associated with about a 70 percent reduction in arrest rates for impaired driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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