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Examination of the feasibility of alcohol interlocks for motorcycles.
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    Final report, September 2009-September 2010
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  • Abstract:
    In 2011 some 30 percent of the 4,612 motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentrations

    (BACs) of .08 g/dL or higher. Although alcohol ignition interlocks are a common sanction to deter impaired driving,

    they are not typically used on motorcycles. This report reviews information on alcohol ignition interlocks to help

    determine whether they can be an appropriate DUI countermeasure when installed on motorcycles operated by

    convicted DUI offenders. The report summarizes issues of perceived liability, technical barriers, statutory or legislative

    barriers, and other factors related to this issue.

    Information was collected from a variety of sources. Findings reflect discussions with senior executives from interlock

    companies operating in the United States, government authorities knowledgeable of their State’s interlock program and

    existing laws and practices, interlock installers, end-user DUI offenders, and an analysis of the breathe test data from

    interlocks used by 407 motorcyclists.

    Reported liability and safety concerns about motorcycle interlocks usually center on the running (often rolling) retests.

    Retesting in a moving automobile involves some risk; retesting while operating a motorcycle is an even greater safety

    hazard if the cycle is in motion. Technical concerns usually center on protection of the hardware from weather exposure

    and the added time needed for custom installation. The low volume of business does not justify investing in design

    improvements; and State interlock standards – written for passenger vehicles– complicate safety issues for motorcycles.

    The authors conclude that there are no technical barriers to the more widespread use of interlocks on motorcycles;

    however, at present, there is little incentive for manufacturers to build an interlock ideally suited to the motorcycle

    environment, and that most State standards, which call for regular testing while the motorcycle is running, pose a

    credible safety hazard that needs to be overcome.

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