Oct. 20, 2011
Should Cars be Equipped with Breathalyzers?
According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are approximately 17,000 people killed by drunk drivers every year. Drunk drivers whose alcohol level is above .08. Most drunk drivers involved in fatality crashes are repeated offenders. In fact nearly half of the fatal crashes were cars driven by drunk drivers with a suspended license. They often slip through the cracks with a slap on the wrist, possibly privileged license, and probation. Sometimes you have offenders that have their license suspended but drive anyway or at least until they are caught. It would be nice to know that if they are driving without a license they would at least be sober. When you think about the statistics of how many innocent people lose their lives every year, installing breathalyzers doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
The breathalyzer is an ignition interlock device that will test a driver’s breath to determine their blood alcohol level. This device requires the driver to blow into a small hand held unit that is attached to the dashboard. The device has an alcohol sensor that records a digital reading of one’s alcohol blood level. If the driver’s blood alcohol level is above a preset point, then the vehicle cannot be started. According to a Hamilton County, Ohio study, repeated DWI offenders were reduced by 65% when the ignition interlock is used on offender’s vehicles.
There are forty seven states that currently have laws where when a driver is convicted of DUI or DWI, they may be forced to install the breathalyzer in their vehicle. In eight of these states the installation of a breathalyzer is mandatory for a first time offender. As for Alabama, South Dakota and Vermont these three states do not enforce these laws when it comes to drinking and driving. The state of New Mexico was the first to mandate the interlock installation system for first time DUI...
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