LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court says a new study finds that requiring repeat drunken drivers to use ignition interlocks testing their breath for alcohol is effective in getting them to stay straight.

The study released Thursday looks at drunken driving cases in Michigan in 2011-2014.

The MSC says the program keeps participants out of jail, avoiding the cost of incarceration and helping participants stay on the job.

“Common sense says you cannot drive drunk if you cannot drive,” said Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr., in a media release. “As part of an intensive program of judicial supervision and sanctions, the ignition interlock forces repeat offenders to either stay sober or stay off the road. The result is fewer repeat offenses and more lives saved.”

The study says the number of repeat violators was 2.8 percent for interlock users, compared with 5.5 percent for others. It says that 97 percent of drivers ordered to use the interlock systems did so.

The study says that 12 percent of participants who used interlocks failed the DWI/Sobriety Court program, compared with 34 percent of those who didn’t.

According to Michigan State Police, 236 deaths and 9,396 crashes on state roads last year involving alcohol.

[Read the full report]

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