Attorney Shaun R. Marks Comments on Federal Push to Require Ignition Interlocks
Flint, MI (Law Firm Newswire) January 10 , 2014 – Federal auto safety officials are pushing for ignition interlocks for anyone, even first offenders, convicted of driving under the influence.
Ignition interlocks prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. Although all 50 states and the District of Columbia use these devices, requirements vary. Currently only 20 states require ignition interlocks for anyone convicted of any drunk driving offense (including a first offense), but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now pushing more states to follow suit.
“Currently, in Michigan, only people convicted of driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.17 — more than twice the legal limit — are required to use an interlock device,” said Shaun R. Marks, a Michigan criminal defense attorney who handles DUI and OWI cases.
That requirement would change if the Traffic Safety Administration’s recommendations are followed.
These recommendations are contained in the agency’s Model Guideline for State Ignition Interlock Programs. The agency asks state legislatures to consider passing laws that would require the devices as a condition for the reinstatement of driving privileges for anyone who has had driving privileges suspended or who has been convicted of an alcohol-impaired driving offense.
The agency also recommends that any eligibility requirements that prevent offenders from participating in ignition interlock programs be eliminated or minimized, and that options that allow offenders to avoid the program be eliminated.
The Traffic Safety Administration states that there is strong scientific evidence that the use of ignition interlock devices reduces drunk driving among both first-time and repeat offenders. Some studies have shown that the devices are about 75 percent effective in preventing drunk driving among people previously convicted of such an offense.
In recent years, there have been as many as 1.5 million drunk driving arrests each year in the United States. In 2012, there were 10,322 deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers, a 4.6 percent increase in the fatality figure from the year previous.
According to government data, about 300,000 drivers are currently required to use ignition interlock devices because of a drunk driving offense. Drivers typically pay about $75 to purchase the device and as much as $50 per month to maintain it.
The Law Offices of Shaun R. Marks, P.C.
653 South Saginaw St #216
Flint, MI 48502
Clarkston MI 48346
Phone: (248) 620-7166
- Detroit City Councilman faces super drunk driving charges
Detroit City Councilman Scott Benson faces charges under Michigan’s super drunk driving laws in relation to his June arrest. According to Southfield police, Benson’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.244 on June 29, when he was found hunched over the steering wheel of a city-issued Ford Crown Victoria on the southbound Southfield Freeway service drive […]
- Michigan State receiver on probation after pleading guilty to drunk driving
Michigan State University (MSU) junior and football team receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr. was arrested and charged with driving under the influence on April 6. The arrest occurred shortly before Kings’ spring suspension. Kings, 20, was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.17 or higher and with operating while […]
- Michigan Police crack down on drunk driving over Labor Day weekend
Law enforcement officials in 40 Michigan counties planned a drunk driving crackdown over Labor Day weekend. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” effort ran through September 1 and featured increased patrols aimed at detecting and detaining suspected drunk drivers. According to Michigan State Police, 10 fatalities from 9 collisions occurred over the 2013 Labor […]
- Michigan bus driver arrested on suspicion of drunk driving
A Detroit city bus driver has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. According to police, the 53-year-old Detroit Department of Transportation bus driver struck a parked car on East Warren Avenue near Three Mile Drive. The driver kept going after the crash. Two passengers, a man and his son, were on the bus at […]
- Police car sideswiped by alleged drunk driver
Last month, a Howell woman who sideswiped the police car of a Hamburg Township police officer was arrested and charged with drunk driving. Sarah Marae Robson, 27, is charged with operating under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.17 (a crime also known as “super drunk” driving). Robson also faces charges […]