In certain states of America such as California you may be required to have a car breathalyser or ignition interlock device fitted to your car if you are convicted of a DUI offence. Every time you want to start your car you must provide the device with a sample of your breath. If you exceed the blood alcohol limit the car won’t start and you must wait at least 15 minutes before you can give another sample. But what if you get someone else to provide a breath sample for you?…
|Ignition Interlock Breathalyser Device|
New legislation in Illinois has introduced the requirement for all breathalyser devices to be fitted with a camera to record who has started the car. “We want to make sure with this camera the right person is blowing into the tube,” said the Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. The device and its installation must be paid for by the person convicted of the DUI offence. Costs of installation vary from $50 – $200 and monthly fees could reach up to $100 per month. The length of time it must be fitted for depends on the State and varies from 90 days to 5 years.
When asked about the extra cost involved due to the device having a camera, she replied “It’s still less than the cost of a drink a day.”
Each time you provide a breath sample, it’s recorded, whether you pass or fail and the data is shared with the relevant authority. There is also rolling tests where you can be required to provide a sample while you’re driving but it will give you time to pull over or you can provide the sample while driving. If you fail a rolling breath test the car won’t shut down.
The current penalties for DUI offences in Ireland are disqualification periods ranging from 1 to 6 years and this depends on whether it is their first offence and the level of alcohol detected in your breath. Could these devices save lives in Ireland?
Words by Niall