One possible consequence that a person who is convicted of driving under the influence may face is having to install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle. When this device is installed in a vehicle, the driver must provide a breath sample in order to start his or her car. If the device registers a specified level of alcohol on the person's breath, then the vehicle won't start. Some types of ignition interlock devices may also require a driver to provide a breath sample after the engine starts at a random point while on the road. As the vehicle is already in motion, if a person fails the test, the car will continue to work but the failed result is logged and later reported to that individual's probation officer. In addition, some states even require that the ignition interlock device is equipped with a camera so that there will be photographic evidence of who is actually providing the breath sample. While having to take the additional step of providing a breath sample each time a DUI offender wants to go anywhere may be a hassle for that individual, a new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine has found reported that ignition interlocks do help to prevent fatal DUI crashes and recommends that every state enact laws requiring ignition interlock devices for all offenders. Thus, it seems ignition interlock devices are likely not going anywhere.
Currently, more than half of the states in the U.S., as well as the District of Columbia, require all DUI offenders to have an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle, even if it is their first offense. A number of other states only require that a driver get an ignition interlock if he or she had a BAC that was over 0.15 or if it is the individual's second offense. Georgia is among the states that doesn't mandate an ignition interlock until a person is convicted of a second DUI offense. According to the news release from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, "[t]his is the first study to look at all the different types of interlock laws across all 50 states." The study was conducted by researchers from both Johns Hopkins and the Colorado School of Public Health. They found that " interlock laws which are mandatory for all DUI offenders were much more effective than those applicable to only some offenders, such as only repeat offenders or those with a very high blood alcohol content."
The study stated that the mandatory laws "were associated with a seven percent decrease in the rate of fatal crashes with at least one driver with a blood-alcohol content over the legal limit." The researchers looked at data for fatal motor vehicle crashes that involved alcohol over a 32 year period, from 1982 to 2013.
If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence, please do not hesitate to contact Georgia DUI defense attorney Richard Lawson today.