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Device Would Keep Drunk Drivers Off the Road

Device Would Keep Drunk Drivers Off the Road



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Jed Boal ReportingUtah lawmakers this winter will consider new tougher restrictions for drunken drivers. A proven device could get even more mileage.

The Interlock device is not new and it is used as a component of Utah's drunken driving laws, but supporters of a new bill think it should play an even greater role in keeping drunken drivers off the roads.

Christina Barrera works for Affordable Interlock. If she fails an on-board breathalizer, the Interlock takes charge.

Christina Barrera, Affordable Interlock: "Does not allow someone to start their vehicle without blowing into the device and passing a test."

Right now, on a second or subsequent DUI judges order the Interlock placed on the offender's car during probation. Under a proposed bill, that restriction would appear on the offender's driver's license. Judges would no longer have discretion not to use the device and the Interlock would stay there for three years.

Art Brown, M.A.D.D.: "If you have a second DUI, it's obvious you can't separate your drinking from your driving, that you are a community risk and to yourself and your family, so we're going to ask you to put on an Interlock."

You may think it would be easy to have someone else jump into the car with you and blow their clean breath in to start the car, but the device is wired to call up random tests, so the driver better be sober.

Christina Barrera, Affordable Interlock: "If you don't take a test when it asks for a test, or you fail one of the random tests, the horn will start honking. You're going to alert law enforcement or others around you, so you have to pull over and stop the vehicle."

You can also use the Interlock voluntarily if you fear drinking and driving in your family.

Christina Barrera, Affordable Interlock: "It's a hit in the face. I have been drinking too much, I need to address this problem. "

Ideally, the feedback is educational.

Art Brown, M.A.D.D.: "It makes them think about their drinking habits, gives them an opportunity to separate their drinking from their driving, get the treatment they need, and protect them and public safety."

Trying to trick the device or tamper with it is also a crime, so the offender could find himself in even deeper trouble.

You'll hear more about the bill during the legislative session.

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