We recently talked about a recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board that all states enact laws that require first-time DWI offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. The Board believes this may prevent repeat offenses and act as a greater deterrent to potential first-time impaired drivers.
Now AAA has joined in that recommendation, calling for all DWI offenders to receive the device and asking judges and law enforcement to mandate and enforce their use effectively.
17 states already require the installation of an interlock device after a first-time DWI offense. In Missouri, a judge may order installation of the device after a first-time offense but it is not required. If states follow the NTSB and AAA recommendation, it could impact thousands of people charged with drunk driving in the state.
Ignition interlock devices test a motorist's breath alcohol level and prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver is intoxicated. Some also test a driver's breath randomly while the car is moving to ensure that motorists don't drink while they're on the road.
Everybody makes mistakes but the mistake of driving while intoxicated can haunt you for life. In addition to the inconvenience and expense of an ignition interlock device, those charged may face fines, jail time and professional consequences like loss of license.
If you or someone you love are facing charges of drunken driving it is essential to speak with a criminal defense attorney experienced in related matters. They can help you build your defense, negotiate with prosecutors and defend you in court to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "AAA joins call for ignition devices for first-time drunk drivers," Jerry Hirsch, Dec. 26, 2012