Ignition-Lock Reality: Many Drunk Drivers Ordered to Use One Don’t Do It


Mark Mullan of Washington state had barely finished promising a judge he would not drive without an alcohol-sensing ignition-interlock device on his pickup he was found to be drunk in court, says the Seattle Times. Two judges had ordered him not to drive without an ignition-interlock device, but he did anyway. “The reality is that we cannot force a person to put an ignition interlock on their car if they state that they are not going to drive,” said prosecutor Moses Garcia. Over the past 15 years, changes in state law have steadily increased penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol — and those changes are credited with helping reduce the number of fatalities caused by impaired drivers. Holes remain in a system designed to catch and prevent intoxicated people from driving. One glaring problem is there aren't enough cops — just three in the whole state — specifically checking to make sure that drivers who are court-ordered to have ignition-interlock devices installed on their vehicles actually do so.

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