The Ignition Interlock Device

This is the device that that DUI offenders’ cares are required to have installed.

Nassau County is the second county in New York when it comes to drunk driving offenses, so there are quite a lot of these devices around installed in people’s cars.

Essentially, it’s a breath-test device that conditions ignition on delivering a breath into it before starting the engine. It will of course only allow you to turn on the engine if you prove that there’s no alcohol on your breath.

It also runs re-tests at random intervals, asking you to breathe into it while you drive, suddenly stopping the engine if any alcohol is detected at any time.

For DUI offenders only?

Most DUI offenders in Nassau have to install one of these at their own expense, as part of the sentence.  A Nassau County criminal defense attorney will usually negotiate this as part of a plea bargain.

But isn’t there a more simple use of the device, which doesn’t involve law enforcement?

What if these devices were mandatory for everybody, at least in places with a high rate of drunk-driving?

They would never allow anyone to drive under the influence of alcohol, period. There could be much less need for police intervention, if any at all.

This may be a crazy idea, since you can’t really force people into it. But is it so radical? The perspective seems worth exploring, and so are the reasons why it hasn’t been done yet.

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