With Thanksgiving behind us, we are officially in the holiday season. For many Tennessee residents, while this is a time to spend with family, this is also a time many imbibe in one too many adult beverages. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with a legal-aged adult having some drinks, the problems arise when those drinking decide to get behind the wheel.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD, has made it a mission to stop drunk driving and prevent the countless lives that are lost every year in fatal drunk driving accidents.
Recently, MADD reported a victory when Tennessee became the 19th state in the country to make ignition interlock devices a requirement for all convicted drunk drivers who have had their driver's licenses suspended. This is the type of legislation that MADD pushes across the country.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, installing an ignition interlock device in a convicted drunk driver's car is more effective than just license suspension when it comes to getting them to stop driving. This is because unlike a suspension, where a driver can decide to risk driving without a license, an ignition interlock device requires a driver to blow into a device. If the device detects alcohol above a certain limit, the vehicle will not start.
With this legislation, convicted drunk drivers in Tennessee -- with restricted driving privileges -- will be required to have the device installed in their vehicles for a period of six months.
The hope is this will prevent convicted drunk drivers from making the same mistakes, while also deterring people from driving drunk in the first place.