Illinois drivers busted for drunken driving have to install a device in their cars which lets them start the car only if they can blow a clean breath. It’s inconvenient, embarrassing, and expensive, and the secretary of state’s office says it’s effective. Dave Druker, a spokesman for the office, says the “breath alcohol ignition interlock device” appears to be a major reason for a decline in alcohol-related fatalities in Illinois – from 480 in 2009 to 436 in 2010.
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Druker says Illinois is the largest state to require first-time offenders use the BAIID. In 2010, 927 people lost their lives in traffic crashes in Illinois. The number which were alcohol-related makes up almost half of those.