Tuesday, December 11, 2012

NTSB Recommends Mandatory Ignition Interlocks For All First-Time DUI Offenders Regardless Of Severity; Alaska Already Compliant

The media has picked up on a story about the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommending that all U.S. states require ignition interlocks for all first time DUI offenders, regardless of whether it's a simple DUI or an aggravated DUI accompanied by a moving violation, property damage, injury, or fatality.

The NTSB sets forth the details in their official press release, and it's a subset of a study of wrong-way traffic mishaps. They stated that alcohol-impaired driving is the leading cause of these type of collisions, and as one of the solutions, recommend that all first-offender alcohol-impaired drivers be required to have ignition interlocks installed on their personal vehicles. CBS News reported that 69 percent of wrong-way drivers in the study had blood alcohol levels above the legal limit of .08. The NTSB also recommends continued research towards the development of passive alcohol-detection technology using a variety of breath and touch-based sensors, and asked that all states implement a comprehensive older driver safety program modeled on the one developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since they found that older drivers are overrepresented in wrong-way collisions. In addition, the NTSB also touted the need for improved highway technology, to include interchange design, signage, roadway marking, and roadway lighting; their five-page abstract offers more details.

The NTSB noted that as of December 11th, 2012, 17 states already mandate ignition interlocks for all first time DUI offenders, to include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. California's program is a pilot program affecting only four counties, Missouri's provision doesn't take effect until 2013, and Oregon's provision states it it mandatory for all "diversions". So we're already ahead of the game in the Last Frontier.

The extremist group MADD is not satisfied; they still want sobriety checkpoints in all states, adoption of all-offender ignition interlock laws in every state, and enhanced research into non-intrusive technologies that prevent drunk drivers from starting a vehicle. And according to Grover Law, MADD began petitioning Congress to make ignition interlocking devices mandatory in ALL vehicles, not just those of convicted drunk drivers. This would mean that no car would be able to start without the driver first being able to prove his or her sobriety. Imagine LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson having to "prove" his sobriety before he can drive to church. LOL!

But DUI detection is not as idiotproof as advertised. On his DUI Blog, prominent California DUI attorney Lawrence Taylor recently discussed the problem of "involuntary intoxication", questioned whether some DUI apprehensions may be attributable to "circadian rhythm", and reported that one district attorney in Colorado was paying bonuses to her deputy attorneys who tried more than five cases last year and have a conviction rate higher than 70 percent. There are too many variables to justify a "one size fits all" approach.

Analysis: The problem is that the NTSB recommends a "one-size fits all" approach for first time offenders. They fail to distinguish between simple DUI and aggravated DUI. A typical first time offender may have had one or two drinks too many, which may push the person slightly over the limit so that the person drives "buzzed" rather than "drunk". They may get caught not because they have an accident or a moving violation, but because they get nabbed in one of those infamous Soviet-style roadside checkpoints used in many states, or because they get pulled over for an equipment violation. These type of people do not pose the same threat to traffic safety as an aggravated DUI or multiple DUI offender.

We need more forgiveness for first-time simple DUI offenders. In those cases, permit the offender to voluntarily agree to the installation of an interlock device, but give them an incentive to agree by offering to let them keep their license and continue driving during what would be the normal suspension period. A DUI arrest and conviction can be extremely disruptive and costly for an offender; if the offender's job requires driving, the offender could become unemployed. This draconian approach should be reserved for the worst of the worst, and not used for a law-abiding citizen who may have had one too many.

We also should consider toughening our aggravated DUI laws. Anyone who kills another person while DUI should receive automatic life imprisonment. If you take a life due to such gross negligence, you should be required to give up your liberty for life in exchange.


  1. Rolling in the dough with this one. Sickening and what MADD wants is just that: Mad aka. c-r-a-z-y

    Give me liberty!

  2. "all first-offender alcohol-impaired drivers..."

    Key word is "ALL"

    Does "ALL" include ALL public servants regardless of their status( you know the ones who think their shit dont stink and that they are above the "law".Those shit for brains)and their family members?

    I'll bet you a bottle of your best gut rot that it does not.

    It's only for us oppressed.

  3. "We also should consider toughening our aggravated DUI laws. Anyone who kills another person while DUI should receive automatic life imprisonment. If you take a life due to such gross negligence, you should be required to give up your liberty for life in exchange."

    Maybe so, but the bastards who produce and make tons of money peddling that gut rot and labeling it alcohal should all be hanged.

    And MADD is a judeo-mongol bolshevik organization.

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