Breathalyzer on ALL CARS?

A bill recently introduce in New York would make it MANDATORY that ALL automobiles have ignition interlock devices on them by 2010. Ignition interlock devices are essentially breathalyzers that must be blown into before the car will start. Currently, in Ohio, the ignition interlock is an available option for judges sentencing any OVI/DUI defendant, whether it is a 1st offense or repeat offense.

This type of legislation was introduced in Arizona but was never passed. From a practical standpoint, I would expect the auto makers to strenuously oppose this type of mandate. Not only would it be costly to install (a cost that would obviously be passed to the consumer), but it also presents a potential liability nightmare if a person is able to get a vehicle started, despite the interlock, and ends up injuring or killing someone. Is the car manufacturer going to get sued? You bet!

An article in the USA Today ( cites to a Hamilton County, Ohio study that suggests the device is effective, however at present, the Courts can only require the device for the period during which the persons license is restricted.

While the interlock device is common in Hamilton County OVI's and Clermont County OVI'S, it is not ordered nearly as often in Butler County OVI's or Warren County OVI's.

For additional information regarding the ignition interlock device in Hamilton County, Butler County, Warren County or Clermont County OVI's, contact OVI attorney Jeff Meadows at (513) 334-0777.


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