Statistics show that in the USA approx one person is tragically killed on the road every 30 minutes due to drunk driving. Despite this alarming rate, alcohol-related accidents still occur.
The number of road deaths due to alcohol-related crashes has decreased recently, and the ignition interlock device has played a big part in reducing drunk driving fatalities. However, many argue it’s not playing a big enough part because only repeat DWI offenders with more severe alcohol problem and first-time DWI offenders with BAC level of 0.16 or higher are ordered by law to install the device in their vehicle. This means that first-time DWI offenders with BAC level below 0.16 are spared from using the device.
The majority of comments I read on a recent popular new story discussing the Ignition Interlock Device showed that most people want the ignition device installed in the vehicle of every DWI offender. This tells me that Minnesota residents are now more serious than ever about road safety and voicing stronger opinions on DWI related issues.
Ignition Interlock Device and Its Functions
An ignition interlock device is a breath screening device which prevents a vehicle’s engine from starting once a blood alcohol content level that’s over the legal limit is detected. The devise is installed inside the vehicle and is connected to the ignition system. The driver pays for the installation and monthly fees of the device.
The driver has to blow 1.5 liters of air into the handheld sensor which is most often located in the vehicle’s dashboard. If the BAC level registers above the legal limit, the ignition device won’t let the vehicle start. If the driver’s BAC level is low, the vehicle starts but the device conducts rolling or random tests to prevent the driver from having a sober person blow into the device.
There were 230,967 DWI cases from 2000 to 2007 in Minnesota and 1,746 fatalities due to alcohol-related road accidents. The ignition interlock device has been and will continue to be a great help in preventing people from combining drinking and driving.
Due to the effectiveness of the ignition interlock device, many Minnesotans have been hoping that this device will be installed not just in the vehicles of the repeat DWI offenders or of the drivers with more severe alcohol problems, but also in the vehicles of all first-time DWI offenders. People who admit to only occasionally drinking and driving dislike the idea though, due to the high fees and inconvenience of using an ignition interlock device.
Using an ignition interlock device is costly and very inconvenient, and the penalties involved in a DWI conviction are too high to take lightly. If you’re charged with DWI in Minnesota, you need to immediately contact a Minnesota DWI attorney for your defense. Douglas T. Kans is a respected and highly regarded Minnesota criminal defense attorney who specializes in DWI defense and can provide you with the comprehensive legal services you need in order to ensure the best possible resolution of your drunk driving case. You can contact Kans Law Firm, LLC at (952) 835-6314 for a free case review.