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Ignition Interlock Devices for All Cars

April 17, 2012

Fred Thiagarajah

The government is toying with the idea of requiring car manufacturers to install ignition interlock devices on all cars.  Opponents to the law are claiming that these devices may prevent people from driving even if they under the legal limit and in a few cases, equipment malfunctions may prevent people from driving even if they have no alcohol in their system.  However, the benefits far outweigh the risks if these devices will lead to a reduction in DUIs and DUI-related traffic accidents.

Needless to say, such devices will definitely lead to a reduction in business for me since DUIs are 50% of my practice.  But I’m ok with having fewer clients if it means that I’m living in safer society, and this safety device doesn’t infringe on any of our Constitutional rights.  Frankly, even though the law calls for a .08% blood alcohol limit, I’m perfectly content to have the device prevent people from driving at .05%  or more.  In other countries, like Australia, the limit is .05%.

Why the limit is .08% in California doesn’t really make sense.  Regardless, such devices should be installed on all vehicles.  Unfortunately, people who want to drive drunk are still going to find a way to drive drunk, either by uninstalling the device somehow, or getting another person to blow into their breathalyzer or by some other creative method I haven’t even figured out.  And of course, there will still be drug-related DUIs.  So, I think my business will be safe after all.

For more details, you can check out the article in the LA Times.


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