According to the most recent data provided by the Alabama Department of Transportation, there were 899 traffic fatalities in the state during 2011. Drivers who were impaired by alcohol accounted for 220 of those fatalities and there were also nearly 7,000 separate incidents of driving under the influence reported. Numbers like these typically result in Alabama ranking higher in traffic fatality rates than other states.
In 2011 the state of Alabama first enacted an ignition interlock law that required convicted first-time and repeat offenders, with a blood alcohol level of .15 or more, to install breath alcohol recognition devices on their vehicles. Three years later, new legislation is under consideration that would take a “zero tolerance” stance and require anyone convicted of a blood alcohol level over a .08 to have the option of a license suspension or driving with an interlock system for 24 months.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, states who adopted these stricter ignition interlock laws have seen incidences of driving under the influence decrease by as much as 67 percent. If the new legislation passes, Alabama would become the 21st state to have these types of laws in their books.
Now that this legislation has been cleared by the Alabama State Senate, it must make its way through the House before becoming an official law.