There could be additional crackdowns on first-time drunk drivers if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gets its way. The regulatory body wants all states to fit alcohol-detecting ignition interlocks the first time someone is charged with drunk driving in order to prevent them from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated again.

According to The Detroit News, every state in the Union uses interlocks in some way, but only twenty states and four counties in California make the technology mandatory on the vehicles of every convicted drunk driver in its jurisdiction.

Outgoing NHTSA boss David Strickland says the interlocks "protect sober motorists and ensure that individuals convicted of drunk driving learn from their mistakes." The plan also has widespread support from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Ignition interlocks generally cost drivers about $75 to install, plus between $50 and $75 per month in monitoring fees.



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  • 50 Comments
      lostjr123
      • 1 Year Ago
      Driving is a privilege, not a right.
      theweegeean
      • 1 Year Ago
      I know a guy who had one of these ignition interlocks in his car and drove with him one day to have it maintained. Apparently, it kept him from drinking and driving. Didn't stop him from texting while driving, though, which I noticed him doing quite a bit while I drove with him. Obviously, ignition interlocks will stop the car from starting if it senses alcohol while the driver is blowing on it. But of course, if a person wants to drive bad enough while drunk, they can just get another, sober, possibly underaged person to ride with them and blow into the system for them. In my home state of NM, from what I understand, interlocks plus a bevy of other precautions (more police looking for offenders, stronger punishments for DWI offenders) has significantly reduced drunk driving. But, I'm not so convinced of the "shaming" aspect of these machines. In a state like NM where drunk driving is relatively rampant, I don't think they're seen as so much an embarrassment as just a nuisance. And, like I already said, and has been shown below in the comments, people will find ways to circumvent the systems. I think, if anything, it's going to be increased police presence and stronger punishments that are going to do the most good for the DWI situation. Interlocks are fine, but we can't use them as a substitute for law enforcement.
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a good idea as long as there is a decent time limit (say 1 year) on how long the drunk driver has to have it in his/her car.
        graphikzking
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        exactly, like probation for drunk drivers. 12 month probation for 1st time offenders + a fine to cover all costs associated with installation and monitoring. If they can't afford it, then confiscate their car since they aren't allowed to drive anyway!
          1454
          • 1 Year Ago
          @graphikzking
          I'm fine with that, however the legal limits need to be raised. My fiance can have one beer and be over the legal limit. Is she drunk, hell no. But out government just uses this as an income generator, not to keep "drunk drivers" off the road. I have a friend who had two beers with a meal and was busted at an illegal checkpoint for 0.08. Now tell me that he shouldn't have been on the road? He was as sober as could be. Heck, I would be fine with a person having to have an ignition interlock device in their car for 5-10 years + have to deal with increased insurance rates for 5 years instead of the requisite(in my state) 3 if the limits are reasonable. As one said below, .12-.14 should be reasonable. Not .08. I say this as a person that drinks maybe once a quarter.
      Basil Exposition
      • 1 Year Ago
      My bro got one of these installed as part of a plea after his first (and only) offence. He was never particularly bad about drinking and driving, but now he is an absolute angel - will not touch a single beer if he will be driving. In addition it is a source of shame and embarrassment for him, which serves as a bit of extra penance for his bad decision. Normally you pay your fine and that's painful for a few weeks then memory fades and you are quickly back to your old ways. This thing provides a 10 month daily reminder of what you did and an incentive not to do it again. and I know it is anecdotal, but in the case of my brother having the lock out after his first offence was a good thing for everyone, and he'll agree.
        Seal Rchin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        Tell your brother that i think he is a loser. Tell him i said it.
          Cayman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          Oh man, no you didn't! Imagine how pissed Basil's brother going to be when he hears that!
          Seal Rchin
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          @ Basil, i did not say i will kick his behind, i said he is a loser for drinking and driving. It is not a mistake, you do not just drink and drive, he knew what he was doing.
      chrismcfreely
      • 1 Year Ago
      You idiots need to get rid of that " shop for a vehicle" floating ad immediately. Not cool.
      flammablewater
      • 1 Year Ago
      Whenever you mention "the government has to..." a lot of people will get up in arms about big government and I get that, it's understandable. But when it comes to something like keeping DUI offenders off the streets, I think this is one of those places where it's a pretty reasonable thing to do, especially when the offender is the one paying for it.
        Kumar
        • 1 Year Ago
        @flammablewater
        Not to mention it's not keeping offenders off the streets unless they've been drinking. What this would do is keep them mobile and probably in the work force. Taking away a vehicle or license for a few years has more affect on the drunk drive and anyone who needs to cart them to work/back for months on end.
      over9000
      • 1 Year Ago
      This just proves that Autoblog readers are liberals and still live with their mommy and daddy.
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @over9000
        That makes sense. Only smart, educated people can afford fancy cars. Teabaggers can only afford to drive 15 year old pickup truck.
      SquareFour
      • 1 Year Ago
      Part of me says first-time DUI-ers need to lose their license for 2 years minimum, but I also know there are plenty of these worthless shat-bags already w/out a license who keep on driving regardless (often drunk, of course), so having mandatory lockouts installed might actually be the best means of curbing this. I mean, most will be happy to keep driving their own car legally and won't go looking for a way around it. There will always be those turds who drive other cars they, their spouses or friends/family own, but for the most part, I think this has a chance of working.
      Lucky Stars
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a no brainer. Drinking and Driving kills more people then most anything. Having these drivers pay for their mistake and having to have this in their car will teach them not to do it again
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Lucky Stars
        What??? Drunk driving kills more people than just about anything??? It kills about 10K people a year, a number that is terrible; but I'm fairly certain I can name a dozen things that kill more in under 30 seconds. Cancer, heart disease, swimming pools, non DUI related traffic accidents, strokes, diabetes, pneumonia, flu, suicide, liver disease, respitory failure... All fatalities are terrible, but DUI is nowhere near the top causes of death.
          Cayman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cayman
          I'd still put heart disease and probably cancer for before age 44 (they are going to be a mix of preventable and non preventable). And I'm fairly certain suicide is up there as well. And dependent on what you consider "cause of death", you could add cigarettes as well. I'm sure there are others I'm not thinking of either. I just think people sometimes get a little carried away (or in this case A LOT carried away), and when I hear that DUI's kill more than just about anything else it kind of stops in my tracks.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't drink and drive, but if I wanted to, I should have every right to. I just don't see why I have to dance to the tune of all these ignorant peasant commoners who think that it is okay for the government to legislate against certain driving behaviors. If someone doesn't want to be hit by a drunk driver, maybe they shouldn't be driving unnecessarily slow, which is often the reason these drivers crash in the first place. Or they could GET OUT OF THEIR WAY and let them drive along, instead of being such self-centered brats. People should fend for themselves when things go wrong. I know I sound like an *******, but personal responsibility beats government support any day of the week. I mean, it is not the government 's job to spoon-feed its citizens-that will lead to a nanny state. \
        graphikzking
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        How about this, if you don't want to be shot, stay off the streets. You are in front of my bullets that is why you will be shot! If you were just inside your house and out of my way, you wouldn't have been shot :) My buddy was hit by a drunk drive HEAD ON! He was STOPPED at a red turning light and the drunk driver (multiple offender btw) came head first into him at 60+ miles an hour. He had no where to go because there were cars behind him. I ACTUALLY THINK DRUNK DRIVERS SHOULD CHOOSE THEIR OWN FATE: 1. Give up your car and license OR 2. Give up drinking. Hell if I commit a felony, I have to give up my gun rights. Why if someone is a multiple offender do they get their licenses back after 30,60,90 days?
        graphikzking
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        BTW - STUPID HOUSE WAS MOVING TOO SLOW TODAY AND THE DRUNK DRIVER HIT IT! SUE THE HOUSE FOR BEING IN HIS WAY! http://fox17online.com/2013/12/19/drunk-driver-crashes-into-house/ A few days ago: WHY WAS THIS DOG IN HIS OWN YARD? Stupid dog! http://www.10news.com/news/chp-drunken-driver-crashes-into-back-yard-of-vista-home-injuring-2-dogs12032013 10 days ago: ANOTHER STUPID HOUSE AND LIGHT POLE IN THE WAY!!! WTF - THEY NEED TO STAY OFF THE ROAD SO DRUNK DRIVERS CAN DRIVE SAFELY! http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865592054/Drunk-driver-crashes-through-West-Valley-home-police-say.html
      Mercer
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should just seize the car, scrap the license and ask the DUI to earn the license again to get his/her car back with storage fee.
      Wetstuff
      • 1 Year Ago
      The car they are driving should be auctioned off to support a fund for victims - no exceptions for baseball players or politicians. Jim
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