Immobilize or Impound the Vehicles of Those Convicted of Impaired Driving

Description of Strategy

Legislation can empower law enforcement agencies to immobilize or impound the vehicles of those convicted of impaired driving. This legislation falls primarily into three broad categories: (1) programs that require special plates on the vehicles of driving-while-intoxicated offenders and/or confiscating the vehicle plates and vehicle registration; (2) programs that require installation of devices in the vehicle that prevent it from operating if the driver has been drinking (alcohol ignition interlocks); and, (3) programs that impound, immobilize, confiscate, or forfeit the vehicles.

A 2008 document commissioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported alcohol ignition interlock laws are most common (43 states), followed by vehicle forfeiture laws (31 states). Half of all states reported having alcohol ignition interlock laws that were actively being applied on at least some eligible offenders (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008).

In Wyoming, an alcohol ignition interlock can be installed if a driver is convicted of having a blood alcohol concentration of .15 percent or higher, or if the driver is convicted of two or more driving-while-intoxicated offenses (Wyoming Department of Transportation, n.d.).

Also known as...

Ignition interlock devices

Discussion of Effectiveness

Alcohol

Evidence supports effectiveness of immobilization or impoundment of vehicles of those convicted of impaired driving for reducing recidivism (the tendency to relapse and commit the offence again), traffic convictions, and crashes. The Community Preventive Services Task Force specifically recommends the use of ignition interlocks based on their effectiveness in reducing re-arrest rates (Guide to Community Preventive Services, 2006). A systematic review (University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, 2017) found strong evidence that the installation of ignition interlock devices reduces re-arrest rates during the time the device is installed. The review found evidence that the ignition interlock devices are more effective than revoking drivers’ licenses in reducing alcohol-related crashes. There was also evidence that states that required ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders had lower crash rates than states that reserved ignition interlock devices for repeat offenders

Prescription & Other Drugs

Evidence supports effectiveness of immobilization or impoundment of vehicles of those convicted of impaired driving for reducing recidivism (the tendency to relapse and commit the offence again), traffic convictions, and crashes. The Community Preventive Services Task Force specifically recommends the use of ignition interlocks based on their effectiveness in reducing re-arrest rates (Guide to Community Preventive Services, 2006). A systematic review (University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, 2017) found strong evidence that the installation of ignition interlock devices reduces re-arrest rates during the time the device is installed. The review found evidence that the ignition interlock devices are more effective than revoking drivers’ licenses in reducing alcohol-related crashes. There was also evidence that states that required ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders had lower crash rates than states that reserved ignition interlock devices for repeat offenders