March 15, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- In an attempt to decrease the number of driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) violations in the state, Tennessee legislators are considering tougher laws at the urging of a number of state senators and the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers organization. One of the biggest changes the proposed law may bring to those convicted of drunk driving
concerns ignition interlock devices.
What is an ignition interlock device
An ignition interlock device operates like a mini-breathalyzer for a person's car. In vehicles that have such devices, the driver must blow into a tube connected to the device in order to start the car. If the device detects alcohol on the driver's breath, the car will not start. Additionally, the interlock system requires that the driver blow into the device tube at random times while the vehicle is in motion.
If the device registers the presence of alcohol on the first attempt to start the car, the driver must wait 30 minutes before trying again. A second attempt that detects alcohol shuts down the car until the device is replaced or reset by a certified installer. This process can take days, leaving the driver without a means of transportation.
How will the law change?
As of January 1, 2011, Tennessee law requires the following people to purchase and install ignition interlock devices if they want to have their driving rights reinstated after a suspension:
- Those convicted of DUI offenses with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of 0.15 or higher
- Those who have received multiple DUI or DWI convictions
First-time offenders are subject to stiff penalties such as:
- Jail time of over 360 days
- Fines as high as $1,500
- Driver's license suspension of one year
- Community service
The proposed law will require ignition interlock devices for all people convicted of drunk driving in the state, not just repeat offenders or those who had high BAC levels.
Adding on the expense of an ignition interlock system drastically raises the bar for those convicted of a DUI or DWI. Many rely on their vehicles to earn a living and the added expense of the device makes the cost of an occupational license
-- a license that permits driving with conditions -- prohibitive. Installation of the devices can be expensive and monthly fees and testing costs are also required from those who are required to have them -- a total cost which can exceed $1,500.
Help is available
A drunk driving conviction can carry serious consequences for Tennessee drivers. If you have been arrested for DUI or DWI, consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can ensure that your rights are protected.
Article provided by Brent Horst, Attorney at Law & Associates
Visit us at www.brenthorstlaw.com---
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