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Group Advocates for Wider Use of Ignition Interlocks in DUI Cases

If you are convicted of DUI in Tennessee you may face several types penalties including fines, jail time and license revocation. An additional penalty you may face is having an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle.

An ignition interlock is a device which a driver is required to blow into prior to starting his or her car. If the device indicates an elevated blood-alcohol content, the car will not start. Currently such devices are only used in more serious Tennessee DUI cases, such as where the driver had a blood-alcohol content of over 0.15 percent.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), however, is advocating for the devices to be required for all DUI offenders in Tennessee and across the country. Currently 15 states have such a mandate.

The IIHS argues that the devices reduce recidivism, but other groups question their effectiveness. The American Beverage Institute, whose members include over 8,000 restaurants, argues that interlocks only impact driving behavior for the limited period of time the interlock is installed on the vehicle, and then recidivism tends to increase.

The American Probation and Parole Association is concerned about the estimated $432 million dollar price tag for each state such a mandate would carry. The group stated that "requiring ignition interlocks for all DWI offenders is an unnecessary and costly response."

Regardless of whether Tennessee's interlock ignition program gets expanded, the best way to avoid such a penalty is to not drink and drive. If you do face DUI charges, a strong legal defense can help ensure you obtain the best outcome possible for your case.

Source: USA Today, "Safety group seeks ignition interlocks for all DUI offenders," Larry Copeland, Mar. 6, 2012.

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