A 2011 Kansas law requiring an ignition interlock for those convicted of their first drunken driving offense is being cited in a declined in alcohol-related traffic fatalities, reports the Lawrence Journal-World. The state recorded 59 alcohol-related traffic fatalities, between July 1, 2011, when the state's new DUI ignition interlock law went into effect, and June 30, 2012. The totals were 125 and 137 in the previous two years.
Kansas had lagged behind the country in reducing alcohol-related fatalities, seeing increases in recent years as numbers dropped across the country. Alcohol-related traffic fatalities averaged 116 a year between 2000 and 2010 in the state. Kansas drivers with a DUI conviction now must install an ignition interlock — which requires drivers to blow into a device to show their blood-alcohol level is under .04, half the legal limit — before their vehicle will start. Under the new law, first-time DUI offenders must use an ignition interlock for a year; drivers with multiple DUI convictions must use it longer.