Recently, ignition interlock devices have become common tools. Judges sentence many of those convicted of DUI to pay to have this device installed in their vehicle. The convict must blow into the ignition interlock to start the engine, and if the device detects alcohol on the person’s breath, the car won’t start.
In Wisconsin, legislators are considering adding more muscle to this form of sobriety monitoring. A bill in that state would create a “24-7 sobriety program” that would require the convicted drunk driver to submit to alcohol testing at least twice a day, whether they try to drive or not.
An article about the proposal provides few details about how the testing would work. A pilot program has been in place in one Wisconsin county since 2011, and the sheriff there recently told the state Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety that it works. He said that DUI recidivism is down and that the testing has helped former drunk drivers maintain sobriety.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving opposes the testing proposal, saying it too soft on drunk drivers. An aide to one of the bill’s sponsors said adding alcohol testing as a possible part of a DUI sentence would not reduce the use of ignition interlocks.
Meanwhile, innocent motorists and passengers in Pennsylvania, New York and all other states are always at risk of being hit by a drunk driver. It is because of this that we see so many injuries and resultant civil lawsuits against drunk drivers, in addition to criminal prosecution.