A campaign against first-time drunk-driving offenders is gaining ground as states and the federal government weigh mandatory use of devices requiring violators to prove their sobriety before their engines start, reports USA Today. Three more states have enacted laws this year requiring all violators to install alcohol ignition interlocks; 11 states now have such rules.
A proposed federal transportation funding bill requires all 50 states to mandate the devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving or risk losing federal highway money. They are installed in about 150,000 vehicles, a number that would approach 1 million if they were required for every convicted drunken driver. The devices place a financial burden on first offenders that might prevent them from seeking treatment, says Carl Wicklund of the Lexington, Ky.-based American Probation and Parole Association.