Interlock Ignition Devices Play a Significant Role in Reducing Drunk Driving Says Austin Personal Injury Lawyer
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 5, 2012 – If activists have their way, more states will have interlock ignition device laws in place. This would be a good thing to reduce drunk driving.
“If you follow the news, you will note that more groups are getting behind the call for mandatory interlock ignition device laws in more states. While most states have some sort of ignition interlock law, only 14 have mandatory provisions for all offenses. Colorado’s law is not mandatory for a first conviction, so offenders do not have a strong incentive to install one. Three states don’t use ignition interlock devices for DUI offenders – Vermont, South Dakota and Alabama,” outlined Robert W. Lee, an Austin personal injury attorney at The Lee Law Firm.
In Texas, an interlock ignition must be installed for the second or further offenses or if the offender’s blood alcohol content is .15 or greater. The court orders the offender to install the device on all vehicles they own for one year. This typically follows a defined period of license suspension. Lee further explained that, “If an occupational license is needed, the court may mandate a first offender or frequent offenders, within 10 years, to only drive vehicles with interlock ignition devices.”
Why the increased demand to have interlock ignition devices installed? The calls for stepping up this mandated provision upon conviction are the result of studies showing that people are drinking and driving at least 80 times before they actually get caught. That is frightening. “Why wait for an accident to happen before mandating interlock installation,” asked Lee. “Make it mandatory on first offense, which hopefully does not involve a death.”
Think this is pushing things too far and interfering with people’s rights? Consider the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) statistics that show more than 16,000 individuals are arrested in the state of Massachusetts alone every year who are driving over the .08 limit. Of those people, there were 3,786 repeat offenders that had to install interlock ignition devices. To date, only 85 individuals have reoffended. Says experienced Austin personal injury lawyer Lee, “These figures speak for themselves about the efficacy of the interlock ignition program.”
The bottom line is that making interlock ignition devices mandatory on first offense for everyone would likely see the numbers of drunk drivers decline and the number of DWI accidents reduced as well. Could making it mandatory on first offense save lives? “Oh yes, definitely. And that is what it should be about. The right to life is critical to everyone. The right to take a life as a result of drinking and driving is reprehensible,” stated Lee.
The Lee Law Firm
11824 Jollyville Road, Suite 302
Austin, Texas 78759
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