MERRIAM, Kan. -- A new law aimed at cutting down on alcohol-related deaths on Kansas highways appears to be working, according to preliminary data from the Kansas Department of Transportation.
A law was passed in 2011 requiring an ignition interlock device for those convicted of their first drunk driving offense. According to KDOT, between July 1, 2011 - when the law went into effect - and June 30th of this year, there were 59 alcohol-related traffic deaths across the state. That number compares to 125 deaths in 2010 and 137 in 2009.
An ignition interlock requires drivers to blow into a device which measures their blood-alcohol level. If the driver's blood-alcohol levels are above .04 - or half the legal limit - then their vehicle will not start.
First-time drunk driving offenders in Kansas are required to use an ignition interlock device for one year, while repeat offenders must use it longer.