Should all convicted drunk drivers be required to use an ignition interlock device at their expense as a condition of probation?
Ignition interlocks, or in-car breathalyzers, are devices that can be installed in vehicles to prevent people who have consumed alcohol from driving. They are most often installed after a driver has been convicted of DUI/DWI, in order to prevent them from driving drunk again and causing personal injury or wrongful death to innocent people in auto accidents on the roads.
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control, ignition interlocks can reduce the rate of re-arrest among convicted drunk drivers by 67%.
However, only 13 states require interlocks for all convicted DUI/DWI offenders, even on a first conviction.
Georgia’s state government is looking for less expensive ways than incarceration to deal with criminal offenders. There is also an urgent need to cut down on the cost of medical care for uninsured injury victims, the cost of whose care may fall back on local and state governments.
The idea of requiring all convicted drunk drivers to pay for their own ignition interlock devices as a condition of probation might be worth considering.
What do you think?
Ken Shigley is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who has been listed among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is President-elect of the 42,000 member State Bar of Georgia.