A New Washington Bill Will Trap Those Trying to Dodge their Ignition Interlock
In states around the country, ignition interlock laws are far from a settled matter. But even if some states have weak laws, the trend is going in one direction: legislators are constantly attempting to strengthen and refine these laws so they can perform better the task of keeping drunk drivers off the road. That means catching and getting tough on offenders who try to dodge the responsibilities that come with using an ignition interlock device.
An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.
Washington State is the most recent state to consider new laws that will boost the power of ignition interlock devices to prevent deaths due to alcohol-related crashes. House Bill 1276, which has passed in the House and now moves to the Senate, mandates two changes that are designed to bring down the number of DUI deaths in the state
- Ignition interlock users who have someone else blow into the device in order to circumvent the breath test will be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
- Devices will have to include GPS technology so that law enforcement agencies can track drivers whom they believe have tried to circumvent the interlock.
The fate of the law in the Senate’s hands is unclear – having two houses divided on the strictness of DUI measures is fairly common across the country. But with new ignition interlock laws in New Mexico, Texas, Maryland and others states on deck, the trend is undeniable: eventually most or all states in the US will mandate ignition interlocks for all DUI offenses with a BAC over .08, with efforts made to trap those who attempt to circumvent the device or otherwise fail to comply, and levy appropriate penalties.
When that day comes, the country will be a safer place to drive.