Illinois and Indiana Continued Fight Against Drunk Driving Crashes with Ignition Interlocks


Illinois and Indiana Continued Fight Against Drunk Driving Crashes with Ignition Interlocks

Ignition interlock devices are hardwired into the car’s ignition, and the car will not start unless the person setting in the driver’s seat blows into the gizmo, allowing it to test their breath for alcohol.

Anyone driving the car must breath into the device, it does not differentiate between drivers. So, for example, if your teenager has to use an ignition interlock device on his truck and you have to drive it one day, then you’ll have to breathe into the gizmo before his truck will start.

Illinois Drunk Driver Ignition Interlock Devices: Pending Legislation

Right now, there is legislation pending in the Illinois House of Representatives that, if passed, will make drivers with 2 or more drunk driving convictions on their record to put a gizmo on their cars or trucks that does not allow them to start the car unless the gizmo confirms they are sober (by checking their blood alcohol level through a breath test).

Indiana Drunk Driver Ignition Interlock Devices: Push for Amendment to Current Law

In Indiana, a similar law is being promoted by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD).

Right now, there is an Indiana statute regarding these “ignition interlock devices” requiring them to be used in Indiana starting in 2015. However, the law as currently written has been criticized as failing to meet its goal and instead maybe even making things easier for DUI convicted drivers.

Why? The current Indiana law provides for a special driving permit for the driver who has been convicted of driving drunk.

The special permit is given at the discretion of the judge as an alternative to the driver being suspended from driving. The suspension can be stayed by the judge and the special driving permit issued — allowing the convicted driver to keep on driving on Indiana roads. Under the special driving permit, the convicted person can still drive but they are restricted until a certain date from driving anywhere they want. These permits limit them to driving to and from work, to and from school, etc. They don’t have to use the gizmo.

The new law, being promoted by MADD, would require all drivers convicted of DUI to have these ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. If the new law is passed, Indiana will not only join Illinois but 23 other states that already force drivers with drunk driving convictions to have one of these breath-test gizmos on their cars, trucks, SUVs, etc.

What About Interstate Commercial Truck Drivers?

Drunk driving is a major cause of accidents and serious injuries in all sorts of traffic accidents here in our part of the country. It’s not just people driving their family cars or SUVs; it’s commercial truck drivers and bus drivers and other workers who are driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants.

These ignition devices are a good preventative measure but will they be used by truckers and other commercial drivers too? Good question.

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