Who Should Really Be Supervising Ignition Interlocks? Oregon Knows.

We know ignition interlocks save lives. But we also know that bureaucracies are slow, agencies are overworked, and people charged with a task can drop the ball. Which is why, though an ignition interlock might be ordered for a DUI offender, that same interlock device won’t get installed, or won’t get properly monitored. That defeats the purpose of the interlock and exposes everyone to more danger from drunk drivers on the road.

An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

Oregon recently passed a law which makes two types of changes to the existing ignition interlock laws in that state.

  • It more clearly outlines requirements for certifying IID providers so that the public is assured of the best technology and service from interlock providers, and, more important,
  • It transfers oversight of the interlock program to the police.

This means that the police, rather than courts or the Department of Transportation, will receive news of interlock test fails.  A failed test is an attempt to drive drunk, and it can be treated as an offense. Having reports go to the police means that action is taken sooner.

Ignition Interlock Programs – They Work if They’re Monitored

This law closes the loop and increases the effectiveness of ignition interlocks. Too many states currently do a good job mandating the devices, but fall down when it comes to keeping tabs on interlock test fails. Interlocks ensure that a motorist is sober while driving, but a DUI offender who repeatedly fails ignition interlock tests is one who is still determined to drink and drive. Oregon’s new law is a good means of ensuring that drunk drivers don’t get back on the road.