Drunk driving remains an endemic problem in the United States. A large number of drunk drivers are arrested every year and the police keep coming up with new ways to catch and discourage this behavior. One of these new techniques is the ignition interlock device. This post will go over the device and its impact on drunk driving.
A 50-state report commissioned by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers found that ignition interlock devices prevented more than 1.77 million potential drunk driving incidents since these laws were enacted. An ignition interlock device is a machine attached to the steering wheel and locks it. In order for drivers to release the device, they must blow into the interlock. If their blood-alcohol content is within the legal limit, then the device releases and them may drive on.
According to the report, every state now has interlock requirement laws and 25 of them require the devices for first time offenders. MADD specifically named Maryland as a state that needs to enhance its stance on drunk driving. Several Maryland police departments and unions are calling on the Maryland legislature to increase penalties following the death of a police officer who was struck by a drunk driver in December 2015. It is possible that Maryland may adopt a tougher stance in the coming months.
If you are charged with a DUI/DWI then you may want to speak to an attorney. First offenders can possibly avoid jail time with a combination of probation, Alcoholics Anonymous, counseling and potentially ignition interlock devices. An attorney can help you negotiate a plea deal that avoids jail time or damage to your reputation but you need to act quickly. Every moment counts during these negotiations because the close you get to trial, the less likely the prosecutor is willing to deal.