We Support Ignition Interlocks for Convicted Drunk DriversDecember 28, 2009 No Comments
Studies have shown that ignition interlocks can decrease repeat offenses by 64%. We have the technology and we know how to reverse the trend, but the laws haven’t been passed yet making this technology mandatory for ALL convicted DUI offenders.
In the news:
Two senators plan to introduce legislation Monday requiring convicted drunk drivers to pass a breathalyzer test to start their cars and drive.
At the height of the holiday season, Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) will introduce a bill requiring the use of an “ignition interlock” for convicted drunk drivers.
The bill would mandate convicted drunk drivers to pass a breathalyzer test in order to be able to start their cars, and coincides with a time of the year when fatal accidents in which alcohol is a cause spike.
Behind the scenes of the bill is a furious lobbying war on both sides of the technology that has been simmering for months.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) had pushed for funding into research into the technology and will accompany Lautenberg and Udall at the press conference on Monday. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has also been working with MADD and lawmakers to reduce drunk driving through interlocks and other technologies.
The American Beverage Institute (ABI), an industry group supported by a number of chain restaurants and other businesses, has long been working against the interlocks, however. The ABI blasted a provision in the Highway bill mandating interlocks as “the first step in a campaign to require interlock technology in all cars,” and complained that the interlocks law does nothing to distinguish between first-time and multiple offenders, or whether or not a suspect had a high or low blood alcohol content (BAC).
“We will gladly stack up the credibility of MADD versus the credibility of these groups any day,” MADD President Chuck Hurley said about ABI in an interview with The Hill in May. “Obviously, they’re funded by the angry wing of the alcohol industry.”
Source: Senators want drunk driving convicts to pass breathalyzer before starting cars – By Michael O’Brien – The Hill – 12/20/09 04:18 PM ETTags: ABI, American Beverage Institute, breathalyzer, drunk driving, ignition interlock, MADD, U.S. SenatorsDrunk Drivers