A new law designed to decrease drunk driving accidents took effect in six states this week. Ignition locks will be installed in the cars of convicted drunk drivers, preventing the engine from starting until drivers blow into the detector with a blood alcohol content lower than .08 percent.
Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska and Washington require the ignition interlock for first-time drunk driving offenders. In South Carolina, it is only required for repeat offenders. Arizona, Louisiana and New Mexico have similar laws, and other states leave it to the judge to determine if drivers have to install the gadget.
New Mexico first required the devices in 2005, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving says that the state's drunk driving death rate has fallen 20 percent. Repeated breath-testing is required while the car is running.