Ignition Interlocks as Standard Automobile Equipment

By Garth O'Brien | November 21, 2006 
Filed Under DUI

California DUI defense attorney provides comments from studies conducted about the Ignition Interlock Device. First we must discuss what the device is and how it is used. The Ignition Interlock Device is a alcohol sensor breath test machine. The Ignition Interlock is connected to an automobile’s engine starter. The drive must blow into the device prior to starting their vehicle. If the device detects alcohol then your vehicle will not start. In theory, the Ignition Interlock Device prevents driving after consuming intoxicants.

Currently, only those convicted of DUI are required to install such a device on any vehicle they operate. People argue it is easy to beat because a sober friend can blow into the device and then the car will start. That is true, however, the device requires the driver to provide samples while they are driving to their destination.

Hence the quote mentioned is accurate:

The risk of a subsequent crash was higher for drivers installing an IID, compared to drivers not installing a device; drivers installing an IID had a risk of a subsequent crash that was 84% higher than drivers not installing an IID. (p. 10)

An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Ignition Interlock in California: Report to the Legislature of the State of California.

Blowing while driving will not be required if they are standard on every vehicle. Here is why. Currently, Driving Under the Influence is a strict liability crime. This means the prosecution does not need to prove the driver intended to drive under the influence. However, if you place an Ignition Interlock device in every vehicle operated in the United States the legislature can include the element of intent. Because with an Interlock in every vehicle the only way to commit the crime of DUI is either by dismantling the device or if the device malfunctions on its own.

Clearly a driver disconnecting an Interlock and driving after consuming intoxicants intended to operate their vehicle under the influence. The legislature should then make the crime of DUI a felony because of the addition of the intent element; the additional action by the driver to commit the crime of DUI. Then make the mandatory penalty for a first offense DUI five years in prison.

The crime of DUI will be significantly reduced across the nation. The criminal justice system will finally see some relief because now every first time offender must serve jail. With the reduction of DUI convictions the jails will no longer need to house as many DUI offenders. The Interlock and threat of five years prison will determine and radically reduce DUI.

Most of my former clients were not criminals. Eighty-five percent had no previous criminal history yet they were arrested for DUI. This law would prevent the average everyday citizen from Driving Under the Influence. Those that choose to circumvent the Interlock will be removed from society to a prison.

On average 13,500 people die yearly because of a driver legally under the influence. The Interlock is just like a seat belt. Both save lives. It is time our government pass this law to protect everyone on the roadways.

The only people I see in opposition to such a law are those whom would profit from those committing the crime of Driving Under the Influence, or those who feel it is alright to drive after consuming intoxicants. We do not have a right to drive. It is a regulated privilege by your home state.

DUI Blog Comments

Comments are closed.