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Ignition interlock devices may be coming for all drunk drivers

| Dec 26, 2012 | DUI First Offense |

Many folks understand that it is dangerous and illegal to drive drunk. Drunk driving could result in a DUI arrest after a traffic stop, and it could also lead to the loss of one’s life when an intoxicated driver causes an accident. Because drunk driving is so dangerous, DUI charges often carry harsh penalties in Georgia and throughout the country.

Although the consequences of a DUI conviction are already harsh, the National Transportation Safety Board recently suggested that state laws are not doing enough to prevent drunk driving. Earlier this month, the NTSB said that it wants every state to implement the mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices in the cars of all individuals convicted of drunk driving, including first-time offenders.

The device measures the driver’s blood alcohol concentration and if one’s BAC is too high the device will prevent the driver’s vehicle from starting. To date, these devices are already mandatory in the vehicles of convicted drunk drivers in 17 states. The NTSB stated that these devices are the most effective method for curbing drunk driving. In Georgia, ignition interlock devices are often required for repeat DUI offenders.

Another measure the board is pushing for is more research on a newer technology capable of registering a driver’s blood alcohol concentration simply by using an infrared light. The system would require a driver to press an ignition button in his or her vehicle and the infrared light would measure the driver’s BAC. Similar to current ignition interlock devices, the device would not allow the driver’s vehicle to start if one’s BAC is too high.

One group opposing the proposed measures is the American Beverage Institute, representing about 8,000 chain restaurants in the U.S. A spokesperson for the institute said they believe ignition interlock devices should be used only for “hardcore” offenders. The spokesperson further stated that first-time DUI offense drivers with low BACs do not deserve the same treatment as repeat offenders and DUI drivers who are arrested with high BACs.

Source: The Associated Press, “NTSB recommends every state require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers,” Dec. 12, 2012

  • Our Athens, Georgia, firm provides counsel to those who want to fight drunk driving charges and other alcohol-related offenses in order to protect their rights and their futures. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our firm’s defending DUI charges page.