New York will become the 12th state to require ignition interlock devices for all people convicted of drunk driving – that goes for first time offenders too. Starting on August 15, Leandra’s Law (also called the Child Passenger Protection Act) will mandate the interlocks and impose stricter penalties if the DUI offender is transporting children 15 years of age and under in the car.
Leandra’s Law is named after 11-year-old Leandra Rosado who was killed after being thrown from the car driven by an intoxicated driver last October.
The interlock device features a breathalyzer that will disable a vehicle’s ignition if a certain level of alcohol is detected on a driver’s breath. The only way a car outfitted with this device will start is if the driver blows into the breathalyzer and doesn’t go over the limit. If you blow .025 or more in New York, you’re not going anywhere. And according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), these devices have proven to work – they sponsored a study that showed a reduction of alcohol traffic violations by 64 percent during the first year in cases where devices were required.
Presently, states that mandate interlocks for DUI offenders include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Joining the list in January will be Hawaii, and California has similar restrictions in four of its counties. Six states use the device only for repeat offenders and nine states mandate interlocks only for convicted offenders who had high blood alcohol content (typically .15 percent or higher) and to repeat offenders. The remaining states do not require interlocks, but 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, can choose to apply interlock requirements at their discretion.
Watch the ignition interlock device demo after the jump.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
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