As of January 1, 2012, Connecticut became the 15th state to require ignition interlock devices (IID) for individuals convicted of drunk driving. The new legislation is likely the product of recent push by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) who has, since 2006, advocated mandatory installation of an IID in the vehicle of any person convicted of even one instance of drunk driving.
Ignition interlock devices are machines designed to prevent an individual from drinking and driving by requiring the driver take a breathalyzer test prior to starting the vehicle. For those unfamiliar, a breathalyzer is a device which estimates a person's blood alcohol content (BAC) by measuring the amount of alcohol in their breath. For more information on breathalyzers check out this previous post.
Currenly, 24 states have laws that make installation of IDD's mandatory following varying levels of OVI/DUI offense. In Ohio, installation of an IID is mandatory following a second OVI/DUI conviction. For more information on Ohio's OVI/DUI penalties for repeat offenders, click here.
Since MADD begun its push for nationwide IDD's, the initiative has been met with signficant opposition. The American Beverage Institute has expressed concerns that mandatory installation of IDD's would eliminate judicial discretion in the sentencing of OVI/DUI offenders. Indeed, making IDD installation part of mandatory OVI/DUI penalties would mean that an individual with a BAC of .0801, only one one-thousandth over the legal limit, would be subject to the same IDD penalty as an individual with a BAC of .16, double the legal limit.
The attorneys of DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder have decades of experience defending the rights of individuals accused of OVI/DUI. If you have been charged with OVI/DUI in Ohio or have questions regarding OVI/DUI law, contact the attorneys at DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder today.