The National Transportation Safety Board has made it clear that it is an advocate for instituting a federal requirement that anyone convicted of drunk driving be forced to install an interlock device in their vehicle, even if it is their first offense. Now, the AAA has made it clear that they will be joining in the push to require the device for first-time offenders. But what would this requirement really look like in implementation?
If you don’t know what an alcohol-ignition interlock system is, it is a device that prevents the car from starting until the driver blows into the device, much like the Breathalyzer used by officers during a traffic stop. If the driver’s blood alcohol content is above the programmed level, the car will not start.
While this sounds like an okay device — it could keep some people from running into law enforcement issues when they are unsure if their alcohol content is slightly above or below the legal limit — it could also mean an entirely other set of headaches for someone who made a mistake.
For instance, in many situations part of the requirement is that the person forced to install the device is also the only one who can drive the car. What if you are slightly above the legal limit? Now, instead of letting a friend drive home, you both have to get a cab. The driver required to install the device is also prohibited from driving another vehicle. In other situations of drunk driving, the individual can no longer act as the designated driver unless they are in their own vehicle. What if you are a businessman who takes clients out for lunch or dinner, how would it have affected your meeting to have to start your car this way?
Imagine you are charged with drunk driving with a blood alcohol content of .081; do you believe that these restrictions are necessary?
Source: Los Angeles Times, “AAA joins call for ignition devices for first-time drunk drivers,” Jerry Hirsch, Dec. 26, 2012
Fighting burdensome requirements is a part of drunk driving defense. Our website provides more information to those who are faced with these charges.