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08-22-07, 08:46 PM #1
Is a Device to Combat Drunk Driving Underused?
WASHINGTON -- Across the country, 1.2 million people have been convicted of drunk driving, with many of them still behind the wheel.
Now, the federal government is pushing a device that could stop those people from driving drunk again.
The District, Maryland, Virginia and 44 other states have laws that could require convicted drunk drivers to install ignition interlocks -- a device that prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.
However, many judges will not mandate the locks, because there is little follow up.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Nicole Nason says that needs to be fixed.
"What you will likely see is the Department of Transportation communicating directly with these states to encourage greater use," Nason says.
Even though Nason says the interlocks are effective in stopping repeat offenders, there are only 100,000 ignition interlocks in use across the country.
(Copyright 2007 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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