Ignition Interlock Prevails – Dangerous Repeat Drunk Driver Jailed

(Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office)

There are laws that prohibit drunk driving. There are vigilant people who do their best to see that their friends don’t drive drunk. And there are police who look for and arrest drunk drivers. But the only measure we have that actually stops a repeat drunk driver is a piece of technology called the ignition interlock – a device which prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

A Maryland woman, Kelli Loos, spent four years in prison for manslaughter after killing two men in a drunk driving crash.

While still on probation, Loos managed to fail her ignition interlock test 10 times, and so she has been sent back to prison – this time for 16 years.

It’s a stunning example of technology doing exactly what it’s supposed to. Thanks to the interlock device, a woman who might be causing more death and injury has been taken off the road.

The Repeat Drunk Driver – Scourge of the Roads

Not every DUI offender is a repeat drunk driver. Some are just guilty of bad judgement, and won’t offend again. Others have alcohol problems but can get them under control with help. But there are those whose dependency on alcohol is so great that they can’t do without it, and many of those will drive after drinking. An ignition interlock is the best way of ensuring that they don’t take to the road.

According to news reports, the prosecutor emphasized that it was not the drinking – Loos admitted to her dependency – but her decision to drive that was the reason she was arrested.

And that is what the ignition interlock does – it separates drinking and driving. It’s up to the courts to deal with the offender. Prison is warranted in some cases, and treatment is vital if she is ever to overcome her addiction. But as a last line of defense for the innocent people on the streets of Maryland against a repeat drunk driver, the ignition interlock works best.

TL;DR: a dangerous drunk driver was issued an ignition interlock, the authorities monitored the data, and arrested the offender when she tried to drive again. The system worked.

Maryland is obviously getting a handle on its repeat drunk drivers, and the citizens of the state are safer because of it.