Examine the Feasibility of an Ignition Interlock Program for Teen Drivers

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States, and typically about 25% of the young drivers killed in crashes have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Ignition interlocks have been used as a sanction for over twenty years, typically for multiple offenders, and appear effective while on a vehicle, at decreasing a driver's drinking and driving trips. In recent years, some States have begun requiring interlocks on first-time offenders' vehicles. Interlocks prevent a driver from driving after drinking, in effect, making a decision for someone who has shown poor judgment about driving after drinking and restricting the trips that can be made in the interlock-installed vehicle. Many parents may be interested in a similar approach for their teenage drivers who may not always show the best judgment regarding driving, especially after drinking. This project explores the feasibility of using interlocks as a preventative measure, for a new cohort of young novice drivers, rather than as a punishment for impaired drivers who have already been convicted. Interlock providers will be contacted to discuss how a potential program might work. The project will also learn from teen drivers, and parents of teen drivers, whether such a program would be of interest, and if so, if any sort of incentives (besides safety and "peace of mind") would be required for participation. Meetings with community groups to learn how an interlock program for teen drivers might be supported is also proposed.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • See DOT HS 812 425 (June 2017) and DOT HS 812 427 (June 2017)


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Berning, Amy

  • Performing Organizations:

    Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

    11720 Beltsville Drive, Ste 900
    Calverton, MD  United States  20705-3111
  • Start Date: 20090910
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20170630
  • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
  • Subprogram: Alcohol Impaired Driving

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01490060
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Contract Numbers: DTNH22-06-C-00035
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 17 2013 1:01AM