“If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Push for a Universal Ignition Interlock Mandate

People never listen. That’s a fact of life. No matter how many times you advocate that drunk driving is not good, at the end of the day you are just labeled a nuisance. What’s the solution to prevent all these alcohol-related road accidents then? Simple. Special Breathalyzers.

In the Los Angeles Times, Ken Bensinger wrote: For more than 20 years, special breathalyzers — hard-wired to a car’s ignition to prevent the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected — have been installed under judicial order in the cars of repeat, or especially egregious, alcohol offenders. But in the past few years, six states have passed laws that require the devices, called ignition interlocks, in the cars of everyone convicted of driving under the influence.

Now, several more states, including California, are considering making interlocks mandatory for all offenders. And a group of automakers has launched a major project with the federal government to develop advanced technologies that could someday make alcohol detectors a standard feature in all cars.

Advocates of interlocks, particularly Mothers Against Drunk Driving, say the devices could reduce the nation’s estimated 17,000 annual alcohol-related automotive fatalities and thereby ease the burden that drunken driving places on the nation’s criminal justice system.

Critics say that it is not that effective. I say let’s give it a try.

Source: LJWorld