Posted: Dec 13, 2012 5:16 PM by Mia Gordon - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Dec 14, 2012 4:47 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - A federal safety board is pushing for mandatory ignition locks for all convicted drunk drivers, even first time offenders. The device requires user to submit a breath sample to test for the presence of alcohol before the vehicle with start.
In Texas, it is up to the judge's discretion whether or not to order a first time DWI offender should be required to use the device, whether as a condition of release on bond, or after a conviction. That is unless the defendant us under 21 years of age - then it is mandatory. The device is mandatory as a bond condition for anyone accused of intoxication manslaughter or intoxication assault. If you are arrested or convicted for a second time you will be ordered to have an ignition interlock.
A recent study showed that nearly 70% of all wrong way crashes are caused by drunk drivers. Now the National Transportation Safety Board is trying to make it mandatory for anyone convicted of a DWI to have to install an ignition interlock device.
Some people, like Debbie Adair agree with the idea, "I think they are great. I think that anyone who drinks anything at all should have them in their car because it saves lives. Your own life and innocent people's lives."
But others had a different opinion. Robin Wilson has been using a Smart Start interlock system for almost a year after a DWI accident. She says the machine, that you have to blow into about every 10 minutes, is just as distracting as a cell phone.
Wilson says, "As far as blowing in this machine in traffic and on bridges. It says it gives you five minutes to pull over, you can't always pull over in five minutes. I think it's dangerous. I think eventually someone is going to die from having to blow into this machine."
Wilson feels that offenders should have their alcohol level checked, but wonders if there is an easier way, "there is got to be a way to mount it on your dash, or put your blood on your finger. Something, there has got to be another way."
Smart Start representatives say that while the machine may be a distraction, it is better then someone losing their life because of a drunk driver.
17 states already require all convicted drunk drivers to install interlock devices in their cars. If they don't have a car, there are also in home devices that they have to use three times a day.
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