Judges, Attorneys and Legislators


Ignition interlock devices as punishments are becoming the norm in courtrooms around the country. These systems not only function as an appropriate penalty, but also they actually prevent recidivism and bring down the rate of re-arrest when they are used properly. At least 13 states are requiring that all offenders, even first time offenders, install an ignition interlock device after being convicted of DUI.

Some of the hesitancy when handing down an ignition interlock device as a punishment can come from misconceptions about these systems. Many of the so-called problems with ignition interlock devices are no longer issues. Thanks to modern technology, the devices are tamper-proof. They save taxpayers money and reduce the costs of DUI prosecutions. Ignition interlock devices will increase safety on the streets because convicted DUI offenders who would typically drive on a suspended license, can now be driving legally. Plus, it can be certain that the offender will not have alcohol in his or her system. Additionally, it is simple to monitor these DUI offenders because all violations are recorded by the ignition interlock system, leaving no way for an offender to drive drunk without his probation officer or a judge finding out.

One of the most substantial reasons for punishing DUI offenders with an ignition interlock system is the efficiency of these devices. Research shows that these devices do work. If the interlock system is installed in the offender’s vehicle, then the rate of recidivism drops dramatically. That’s because it is nearly impossible to circumvent these machines. Plus, any attempt at tamper is reported immediately. States that are using these devices more readily than other states, like New Mexico, for example, are showing huge drops in the number of repeat offenders. Click here to read more about the statistics in these states.

Implementing an ignition interlock program in your jurisdiction devices in your state can be simple, provided there is cooperation from the courts, judges, attorneys and legislatures. One of the most important things is to make sure that once ordered to install the device, the DUI actually goes to get the interlock system put in his car. Additionally, it is important to keep the device installed until the offender has completed his punishment, possibly along with a treatment program. Each state has different ignition interlock laws. But setting up a program that goes hand and hand with treatment is one way to make ignition interlock devices more successful in the long run.

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