The effects of closer monitoring on driver compliance with interlock restrictions

Paul L. Zador, Eileen M. Ahlin, William J. Rauch, Jan M. Howard, G. Doug Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This randomized controlled trial of 2168 DWI multiple offenders assigned to a state-wide ignition interlock program in Maryland compared non-compliance with interlock requirements among drivers who were closely monitored (by Westat staff) and drivers who received standard monitoring (by the Motor Vehicle Administration). Compliance comparisons relied on datalogger data from MVA's interlock providers plus driver records that contained demographic information, prior alcohol-related traffic violations, their dispositions, and interlock duration. Measures for quantifying non-compliance included rates per 1000 engine starts for initial breath test failures at varying BAC levels and time periods, retest failures, retest refusals, interlock disconnects, startup violations, and summation measures. Regression analysis estimated the effects of closer monitoring on non-compliance, using linear mixed models that included random driver effects and fixed effects for study-group assignment, prior alcohol-related traffic violations, and months of continuous datalogger data with a quadratic function that assessed changes and rates of change in interlock non-compliance over time. All the separate non-compliance rates and summary measures derived from them were lower for closer monitored than control drivers for continuous data series of at least 6, 12, or 24 months. The differences for initial test failures and the two summary measures were statistically significant. Most measures of non-compliance decreased significantly as continuous time on the interlock increased. Parallel trends in each study group indicated that drivers learned to improve their compliance over time. Thus, this study convincingly demonstrates that closer monitoring substantially enhanced compliance with requirements of the ignition interlock and that regardless of group assignment, compliance increased over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1960-1967
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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