Ignition Interlock Guidance and Education
AAMVA releases updated best practices guide and law enforcement training video
AAMVA has updated its Ignition Interlock Program Best Practices Guide as a way for member agencies tasked with administering these programs to receive the best and most current information available on the subject. The previous version was published in 2015, and both public opinion and legislation have evolved to crack down even further on a serious and avoidable problem: driving under the influence of alcohol.
Most notably, the updated document describes both short- and long-range solutions to the challenge of reciprocity—when an ignition interlock user moves from state to state. Short-range solutions can be implemented by jurisdictions today, while long-range solutions are more forward-thinking.
How are people who have been convicted and have the ignition interlock system installed in their vehicle being treated if they move to a state that doesn’t have the same laws? Jurisdictions have struggled to reconcile this issue since ignition interlocks were first introduced. With this updated guide, jurisdictions now can find answers to these questions.
Coupled with this update, many jurisdictions have gotten tougher on impaired driving violations, adopting stricter penalties for a first violation. More states are moving to a first-offender ignition interlock policy, meaning that any person upon first conviction of a blood alcohol content at .08 or higher is required to have an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle. Recently, there has been a movement at the federal level to incentivize all jurisdictions in the United States to adopt all-offender ignition interlock laws.
Ignition Interlock Law Enforcement Training Video
Helped in part by funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), AAMVA has produced a new Ignition Interlock Training for Law Enforcement video to help law enforcement officers understand how to conduct the critically important traffic stops involving vehicles and drivers who have an ignition interlock device installed.
A percentage of the law enforcement population isn’t keenly aware of what the proper steps should be after they make a traffic stop and observe that the vehicle in question is equipped with an ignition interlock device. And many frontline officers aren’t sure of how to treat someone who produces a driver’s license that has an ignition interlock restriction noted on it. What do they do to determine if they’re in compliance with the restriction? In addition, do they know how to determine if there have been any attempts to tamper with or circumvent the device, violating the terms outlined when the device was installed?
To address the training gap, AAMVA has produced a 10-minute video to enhance the knowledge of all law enforcement members and partners on how to handle these situations. The video is meant to be a short primer that can be delivered quickly and cheaply to law enforcement officers so they can be better educated in a way that will help maximize the safety benefits of required ignition interlock devices.