US state laws dictating when ignition interlock devices (IIDs) may be removed from drunk driving offenders’ vehicles can help reduce repeat offenses, according to new research released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

Currently, all states have some type of IID program, with 33 states and the District of Columbia having a compliance-based removal (CBR) law.

Under a CBR law, drivers with an IID installed in their vehicle must have a certain number of violation-free days before the device can be removed.

Researchers focused on two states with CBR laws – Tennessee and Washington – and two states without – Arkansas and Iowa.

They found that the alcohol-impaired driving reoffending rates in Tennessee and Washington were 1.7 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, the rates for the two states without CBR statutes – Arkansas (5.6 per cent) and Iowa (six per cent) – were higher.

“Every day, 36 people die because someone got behind the wheel after consuming alcohol,” said GHSA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Adkins.

“We can and must get that number to zero. Ignition interlocks are a powerful tool in our fight against the scourge of impaired driving. This new study suggests that enacting requirements governing the removal of IIDs can make them even more effective in preventing alcohol-impaired driving and save lives.”