Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Starting today all Ignition Interlock Devices must have a camera

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Washington state.  Then you face the possibility of an ignition interlock requirement.  For a first offense conviction it is 1 year.  For a second conviction it is 5 years.  For a third conviction it is for 10 years.  Obviously a second and third conviction come with a lengthy time frame.  But in addition to that comes a hefty price.  And this price has just increased.

As of 1/1/13.  All ignition interlock devices here in Washington state must come with a camera. Ignition interlock devices which require a clean breath sample before a car can be started have long come under scrutiny for their reliability in ensuring the driver is the actual person providing the breath sample.  What the proponents of these new camera ignition interlock devices claim that drivers are not the ones blowing into these devices.  Sober people, friends, anyone else provides the sample.  Because it reads no alcohol, then the car is allowed to start.  

However in my opinion I have not seen any data or cases suggesting this is true.  In fact Im willing to bet these proponents would be hard pressed to find cases where a driver has an IID device, and still gets arrested for a DUI, or gets involved in an accident.  But I guess that is why Im a Seattle DUI Lawyer and not a member of MADD.

Anyway as with anything.  These new IID devices come with an increased cost.  It is a pretty nominal fee per month.  From what I have seen it will be around an additional $10 a month.  But add that to the ever increasing cost of getting a DUI, and it is just a another fee that breaks the bank.  

So how does the camera work?  Well it takes two pictures.  The first time is when the device alerts the driver he or she needs to blow into it.  The second picture is actually taken when the driver is blowing into the device and providing a sample.  Essentially by doing this it virtually eliminates any chance of someone else blowing from the passenger side of the vehicle or from the back seat.  

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Matthew A. Leyba is a DUI lawyer in Seattle, WA.  His practice focuses on representing those accused of DUI and other serious traffic offenses.  

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