It began with wrong-way drivers and they lives they risk (and claim) each year but quickly evolved into a conversation about requiring all convicted drunk drivers to install ignition interlock devices as a part of their punishment.

The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending New York state (and every state) begin using ignition interlock devices as a way to counter these types of crashes. Although there have been a few cases of sober drivers heading the wrong way on a road or highway and causing a crash, in the majority of these cases the wrong-way driver was under the influence of alcohol.

Already several states require ignition interlock devices for any driver committed of drunk driving regardless of whether it is their first offense or not. In those states the threat of an ignition interlock device has been shown to reduce the incidence of someone committing multiple drunk driving offenses. This has sparked the interest of the NTSB and in turn, anyone interested in combating the problem of drunk drivers and the multitude of ancillary problems they cause.

Distracted driving has been getting a lot of press this past year, including the release of several reports which seemed to indicate that distracted driving was more dangerous than drunk driving. Although the incidence of distracted driving crashes is indeed high and getting higher, drunk driving remains a serious threat to personal safety on highways across America. Where ignition interlock devices are used the incidence of drunk driving is coming down, somewhat, meaning it is a tactic which works.

At this point, given the thousands of people who are killed each year in vehicle crashes caused by repeat drunk driving offenders, any tool which makes a difference seems worth using.