A Pennsylvania senator has introduced legislation that would require anyone
drunk driving to use an ignition interlock device. The law currently requires those
convicted of DUI whose licenses are suspended for at least one year to
use one the devices. The new law calls for convicted drivers to use the
machine for six months.
An ignition interlock device requires the driver to take a breath test
before the vehicle will start. If the test determines the driver has been
drinking, the vehicle will not start. Some people get others to do the
breath test for them so their vehicle will start. For this reason, the
device can be calibrated to require tests while the vehicle is in motion as well.
One of the factors legislators may take into account when considering this
bill is cost. The cost for the installation of the machine ranges from
$50 to $200. Additionally, a monthly charge associated with its use can
cost between $50 and $100 per month.
Regardless of the cost to individuals, it is believed that if this bill
becomes law, it will save lives. Statistics show that drunk drivers account
for somewhere in the neighborhood of one third of all traffic fatalities.
If this law is passed, it could be some time before the effectiveness
of it is determined.
In the meantime, anyone in Pennsylvania charged with DUI is considered
innocent before the court until and unless prosecutors prove otherwise.
Just because someone is charged with a crime does not mean he or she is
guilty. Every person has a right to a defense and the opportunity to confront
his or her accusers and to dispute any evidence presented by the prosecution.
Source: Nazareth, PA Patch,
Senator Wants Ignition Locks for All DUI Offenders, Alison Smith, Jan. 29, 2014