Alcohol Ignition Interlock Programmes for Reducing Drink Driving Recidivism

  • Published: The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 3, 2004
  • Authors: C. Willis, S. Lybrand and N. Bellamy
  • Date Added: 28 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 28 Mar 2013
  • Format: pdf


To assess the effectiveness of ignition interlock programmes on recidivism rates of drivers with prior convictions of drink driving:

  • The primary outcome is the recidivism rate of drivers while the ignition interlock device is installed in the vehicle;

  • The secondary outcome is the recidivism rate of drivers after the ignition interlock device has been removed from the vehicle.


Controlled trials of interlock programmes were included in the review. N=14 studies were included in the review (1 randomised controlled trial (RCT), and 13 controlled trials).

Key Findings:

  • The RCT showed that recidivism was lower in the alcolock group while the device was installed in the vehicle, but the benefit disappeared once the device was removed.

  • In all 13 non-randomised controlled trials, the interlock group had lower recidivism than the control group.

  • More studies of good quality are needed to confirm the effectiveness of alcolocks in reducing recidivism.

  • The participation rates for interlock programmes were too low for devices to have had much impact on the drink driving population as a whole.


Alcolocks, effectiveness, alcohol-impaired driving, systematic review.


Review of international studies. Only 1 randomised controlled trial included.