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February 7, 1996

Alcohol Interventions in Trauma Centers

Author Affiliations

Binghamton, NY

JAMA. 1996;275(5):358. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530290028019

To the Editor.  —The ignition interlock device may have application to the alcohol interventions discussed by Dr Gentilello and colleagues.1 The interlock is a miniature Breathalyzer integrated into a car's ignition system. Before the driver can start the car, he or she must blow into the device; if the driver's blood alcohol concentration is too high, the car will not start. A group of pilot projects begun in the late 1980s and reviewed in 1991 by Linnell and Mook2-4 showed that the decrease in the expected rate of recidivism could be as high as 66%.Though these early statistics inspired a few states to undertake larger studies in the hope that a more reliable data base could be accumulated, progress toward bringing the device into widespread use has been slow.The interlock's use at the present time is confined almost exclusively to being a sanction imposed by a