DRUNK DRIVING: IGNITION LOCKS
As a follow up to our Drunk Driving series of blog postings, we note that as of January 1, 2009, six states (Alaska, Illinois, Colorado, Nebraska and Washington) began requiring those convicted for the first time of drunk driving to have an ignition lock installed in their vehicles.
This follows similar laws in New Mexico and Massachusetts, which have had such laws in effect for about five and four years, respectively. Arizona and Louisiana have similar laws.
New Mexico, the first state to have such a law, has seen its death toll from drunk driving drop 20% since the law became effective in 2005 and repeat drunk driving offenses have decreased by two thirds in the same period.
The ignition lock law went into effect in New Jersey just this year (2010) and would require the installation of the device for any driver that has had a blood alcohol level of at least .15 (.08 being the legal limit). All repeat offenders would also be required to have the devices, for lengthier periods of time.
The device requires the driver to breath into the device, and the vehicle will not start if the device measures the presence of alcohol beyond a certain limit. While it would be possible to overcome the intent of the device, for example by having someone blow into the device for the driver, the laws involved attach some criminal penalty to those participating in such an effort.
If your state does not have such a law on the books, a strong letter to your state representatives by you should insist that such a law be passed. A drunk driver is not only a danger to themselves, but to each and every one of us that rides in a motor vehicle. Recently, claimsjournal.com ran an article about a woman who received three D.U.I arrests in one week. This is just unacceptable. To read the article CLICK HERE.