Ignition Interlock Devices: The View from the Prosecution

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on August 18th, 2008

I've railed in past posts about the ineffectiveness of ignition interlock devices (IIDs).  See The Truth About Ignition Interlock Devices.  This latest sure-fire weapon, which MADD loudly claims will "eliminate drunk driving once and for all", is currently sweeping the country.

We know what the Mothers think.  What about the prosecutors in the trenches?


Prosecutors Express Doubt About New DUI Law

Jacksonville, IL.  Aug. 2  - While mandatory ignition locks equipped with a breathalyzer are suppose to prevent convicted first-time, drunken drivers from driving illegally, several area prosecutors doubt they will accomplish that purpose.

The new mandate won’t take effect until Jan. 1, but prosecutors for Morgan, Scott and Greene counties are skeptical about how the offenders will be able to afford the costly monitoring device and pay their DUI fines, which the counties already find difficult to collect…

He and other prosecutors see holes in the system. “It’s a step in the right direction,” said Scott County State’s Attorney David Cherry. “And, yet, it’s a costly device and doesn’t guarantee 100 percent that they won’t drive when they shouldn’t. That’s a problem.”

“If you have a crazy drunk who is going to drink and drive, this doesn’t necessarily stop them from driving,” Mr. Bonjean noted. “It only stops them from driving the vehicle that they put the (breathalyzer) device in.

“That doesn’t mean they can’t go get in their friend’s vehicle or their kid’s vehicle or get in their wife’s vehicle, which would be a violation, and drive that,” Mr. Bonjean said.

Greene County State’s Attorney Matt Goetten echoed the two prosecutors’ concerns, adding, “What’s to prevent them from having someone not drinking blow into it and start the car up?”..

Mothers Against Drunk Driving called the new law one of the most important pieces of DUI legislation passed in Illinois in several years, because ignition interlocks stop vehicles from being driven by those who are drunk, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said in a press release he issued last month.

Those on the front lines are skeptical. “I personally don’t think it will have much, if any, effect on DUI offenders,” Mr. Bonjean said. “The only thing I think it is going to do is create a larger market for the (breathalyzer) devices, themselves.

“I think whoever owns stock in these (breathalyzer) companies is probably going to do fairly well, because this opens up a new (sales) avenue for them,” he said.

 
Exactly.  See my earlier post, Ignition Interlock Devices: Dangerous But Profitable.

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