Feds to States: Require First-Time DWI Offenders to Have Interlock Devices

breathalyzer.jpgAs national drunk driving deaths rose 4.6 percent from last year, the first increase in six years, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that he wants states to require first-time DWI offenders to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles.

With the passage of Leandra’s Law in 2009, New York is currently among the 20 states in the country that now have such a requirement. Interlock ignition systems work by having convicted drunk drivers blow into a device that measures their Blood Alcohol Content. If the device detects alcohol, the car won’t start.

The device also records the number of times a vehicle was started, or attempted to be started, and the length of time a car was driven.

Foxx made his remarks at a Washington event to announce the Transportation Administration’s annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program.

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