An ignition interlock program can makes streets safer in your jurisdiction. Not only have these programs been proven to reduce recidivism, they also can function as an appropriate punishment for DUI offenders. That’s because if you take away DUI offenders’ right to drive, they are likely to drive without a license until they are caught. Of course, much of the time, they won’t be caught, and then you are left with unlicensed DUI offenders on the streets. Revoking an offender’s license won’t stop him from driving, and worse, it won’t stop him from driving drunk. Ignition interlock devices on the other will stop a DUI offender from getting behind the wheel again with alcohol in his system.
So how can you implement an ignition interlock program in your jurisdiction? There are some key factors that make for a successful program. First off, ignition interlock devices must be installed right away after a DUI. Any time lapse will allow the offender to possibly drink and drive again. ALL offenders must install the system. There are many DUI offenders who are sentenced to install an ignition interlock system in their vehicle and never follow through. There must be follow-up to make sure the device is installed, and it is installed right away. Finally, it is of utmost importance that the interlock system stays in place until the DUI offender has shown a change in behavior, or has completed treatment.
So how can you get offenders to follow through? In addition to close monitoring, it is important for judges to increase the incentive if a DUI offender installs an ignition interlock system. The incentive being – that the DUI offender can drive legally, can re-register his vehicle, will be able to avoid electronic sobriety monitoring (like a SCRAM bracelet), avoid jail time, satisfy a requirement for an unrestricted license, and defer prosecution. A judge must make installing an interlock system easy to do and worthwhile if it is going to be successful.
There are also loopholes that many DUI offenders will find when attempting to avoid installing an ignition interlock system. First off, many will wait out the revocation period. Some DUI offenders will tell a judge they have no car or they are not driving. Other offenders will simply drive without installing the system, regardless of whether they have a license or not. Plenty of offenders will drive a spouse’s car or a friend’s car that does not have an ignition interlock device in place. In order to close these loopholes, judges and probation officers must monitor DUI offenders closely and issue warrants for any non-compliance.
With the right incentive and monitoring, an ignition interlock program can work very successfully in any jurisdiction. Plus, it will do much more at keeping offenders from driving again while under the influence than simply revoking an offender’s license.