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New Legislation Would Make Ignition Interlock Mandatory for First-Time DUI Offenders

JULY 10, 2014

Newly introduced legislation would require all 50 states to mandate the installation of ignition interlock systems for all DUI offenders, reported.

So, what is an ignition interlock device? An ignition interlock device or, as it is more commonly known, a breath alcohol ignition interlock, is basically a breathalyzer for the vehicle of an individual. The driver has to blow into a mouthpiece on the device prior to starting the vehicle. What it does is if the breath-alcohol concentration in the analyzed result is found to be greater than the blood alcohol concentration programmed in the device, which can vary from one county to another, the interlock device automatically prevents the engine from getting started.

This kind of a device disrupts the signal you receive from the ignition to the starter until a valid sample of the breath is submitted which is in accordance with the basic alcohol guidelines in the state. After it has been verified, the vehicle starts normally, but at certain random places, the ignition interlocking device will need another breath sample. The purpose for this is to stop someone other than the driver from giving the breath sample. In case the breath sample is not submitted, or the sample is greater than the blood alcohol level that has been preset into the device, it will log the incident and give a warning to the driver. It will then switch on an alarm with a good amount of flashing lights and honking of the horn until the vehicle has been switched off or a clean sample of breath has been provided.

If you were under the impression that the interlock device easily turns off the engine when alcohol has been detected, then you are highly mistaken; this would lead to a very unsafe and dangerous driving situation, subjecting the manufacturers of the interlocking device to a considerable liability.

There are a few concerns that have been raised by opponents to the devices, one being false readings from alcohol-based mouthwashes and breath sprays, as well as from yeast in breads, bagels, and pancakes.

Despite the concerns, the legislation marches on. It will give drivers, especially first-time DUI offenders, a chance to keep their jobs and educational opportunities even after a conviction, which solves a big problem.

These kinds of devices are very useful in keeping the young crowd in control. In Pennsylvania, there are numerous cases every day of underage DUIs which are defended by a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer. Kids love partying until late in the night, and for some, a party is incomplete without alcohol. Consuming alcohol is not that bad, but what is not good, is getting behind the wheel of a car in an inebriated condition. This can not only be detrimental to your life because you might cause severe accidents, but also because you could harm other drivers or pedestrians. So, you must at all costs avoid driving when you are not sober.

You can hire other car services, ask someone who is not drunk to drop you off at home or just stay at the party for the night until you get back to your senses. According to any proficient Pittsburgh DUI lawyer, a DUI conviction can be extremely harmful to your future because it has a permanent place in the criminal records which are accessible to the public. So, your future career opportunities, as well as academic aspirations, can be seriously jeopardized if your present or future employer and other people on whom your college admission depends got to know about this predicament.

So, whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. And if at any point, you become a victim of such a serious situation, you must immediately get in touch with a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer who will guide you with the right advice during the court proceedings.

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