WASHINGTON -- A federal safety board is recommending that all states require ignition interlock devices for convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders.
The five-member National Transportation Safety Board said the devices are currently the best available solution to reducing drunken driving deaths, which account for about a third of the nation's 32,000 traffic deaths each year.
In particular, the board cited a new study by its staff that found some 360 people a year are killed in wrong-way driving crashes on high-speed highways. The study concluded that 69 percent of wrong-way drivers had blood alcohol levels above the legal limit of .08.
Seventeen states already have laws requiring use of the device by all convicted drunk drivers.