Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ignition Interlocks Are Here To Stay

California saw its first real year having ignition interlocks as a requirement in some of its biggest counties.  Nationwide ignition interlocks have been the hottest issue in traffic safety legislation this year. Fourteen pieces of ignition interlock legislation have been passed and signed into law by Governors in twelve states. Seven more bills are still alive and any of these could move all the way and become part of that state’s statutes. The biggest of these fourteen are new laws in Colorado, Missouri, Tennessee and New York.
Colorado reduced its ignition interlock required high Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) standard from 0.17 to 0.15, which does not sound like much but 0.16 and 0.17 are the two most common BAC levels at the time of arrest. This will effect a large number of offenders, especially when you consider that Colorado already has huge numbers in their ignition interlock program.
Missouri and Tennessee amended their DUI laws relation to IID by changing their ignition interlock programs to a true “all offender” status. All BAC’s and all numbers of offenses in those states now require the installation of an ignition interlock to regain driving privileges. New York’s law makers did three things: It tightened up loopholes on the ignition interlock requirement, it extended the minimum term for these same offenders from six months to twelve, and increased the penalty of driving a vehicle (without an ignition interlock) from a traffic infraction to a felony.