The use of breath test interlocks has increased dramatically over the last few years. MADD loves them – as do the manufacturers who are raking in money every month. They are already mandatory in a few situations, and apparently, that’s not good enough. The National Transportation Safety Board wants them installed in the car of every convicted drunk driver.

DWI defendants are already the most penalized group of defendants. There are programs to complete, and classes to take. Fines are increasing, and the day may come when you can’t hold a job and comply with DWI probation at the same time. The last thing we need to do is add on more penalties and restrictions.

There is no doubt that interlocks serve a useful purpose. However, they are not needed in most cases. The majority of defendants are first time offenders who learn their lesson, complete their probation and have no further problems. They don’t need an interlock to prevent them from driving drunk.

It’s not politically popular to oppose anything that relates to driving while intoxicated – so it is reasonable to assume that this may end up being the law sooner rather than later. It’s not too farfetched to believe that sooner or later, interlocks will be in every car sold – after all, we don’t want people driving drunk, do we?

Walter Reaves
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Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 35 years.
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