Alcohol Ignition Interlocks in All New Vehicles: A Broader Perspective
Journal article, 2014

Objective: To discuss the implications of widespread implementation of alcohol ignition interlocks. Method: We base our discussion on data from Finland including crash statistics and surveys collected from criminal justice professionals and general driving population. Results: Alcohol ignition interlocks are an effective preventive measure against drunk driving when installed in the vehicles of convicted drunk drivers. However, once they are removed from the vehicles, drivers typically return to their habit of drinking and driving. Furthermore, for a number of reasons, the proportion of convicted drunk drivers that install an interlock in their vehicles is quite small. Therefore, many stakeholders believe that the solution to the drunk driving problem will come when interlocks become standard equipment in all new vehicles. However, drunk driving is a complex sociopsychological problem, and technology can rarely offer a solution to such complex problems. Consequently, many aspects of such interventions might be difficult to identify and include in cost-benefit analysis. Conclusion: We express caution about requiring an interlock as standard equipment in all new vehicles.




drunk driving

motor vehicle crashes

alcohol ignition interlock

traffic police


cost-benefit analysis





Igor Radun

Chalmers, Applied Mechanics, Vehicle Engineering and Autonomous Systems

J. Ohisalo

University of Helsinki

S. Rajalin

Liikenneturva (Central Organization for Traffic Safety in Finland)

J. Radun

University of Helsinki

Mattias Wahde

Chalmers, Applied Mechanics, Vehicle Engineering and Autonomous Systems

T. Lajunen

Middle East Technical University (METU)

University of Helsinki

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Traffic Injury Prevention

1538-9588 (ISSN) 1538-957X (eISSN)

Vol. 15 4 335-342

Subject Categories

Vehicle Engineering



More information

Latest update