Ignition interlock devices are used on cars to prevent an individual from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. When, and if, an ignition interlock device is required will depend on the law of the state. Currently, 28 states as well as Washington, D.C., require that all individuals who are convicted of driving under the influence install an ignition interlock device in their car. Georgia is not one of these states. Under Georgia law, an ignition interlock device is only required if a person gets two drunk driving convictions within five years.
Though useful in preventing a driver from starting their car while under the influence of alcohol, ignition interlock devices are not foolproof. There are ways for drivers to get around the system, such as having another person blow into the device. One way a number of states are combating this issue is requiring that ignition interlock devices have cameras. In Washington, cameras were added a few years ago. The cameras "automatically takes a snapshot of the driver whenever a sample is required." According to The Seattle Times, the photos are then sent to the "device's manufacturer, and can be ordered by law enforcement if a question arises about someone faking the tests."
Washington may have been the first state to mandate cameras in ignition interlock devices but they were not the last. Vermont and Oregon also require that ignition interlock devices be equipped with a camera.
Over the summer Virginia decided to add cameras to the ignition interlock devices in its state. The regulation was recommended by Governor Terry McAuliffe. The cameras will be monitored by the Commission on Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP). According to Chris Morris, the Special Programs Coordinator for VASAP, "'The cameras are essential to circumvention attempts where somebody could potentially have somebody else blow into the device for them to start the car. The camera actually takes a picture of who is taking a breath test, so we can identify who it is.'" The pictures will be monitored when people take their cars in for the ignition interlock's monthly calibration.
Other technology is being developed to combat drunk driving. The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADDS), a research organization, is working on developing new ways to prevent drivers from starting their vehicles while intoxicated. One would be to use breath, as devices to now. Unlike ignition interlocks which drivers must blow in, the detection device would be "sensors mounted in front of the driver." According to USA Today, "the driver wouldn't even need to be aware they are being monitored." Another method they are looking at is a touch method which would "screen for alcohol when the driver touches the start button or another designated surface in the car." The technology still has some way to go before it will be available, with the director of DADDS estimating that these type of alcohol detection devices will not be out for another five to eight years.
If you have been charged with a DUI in the state of Georgia, please do not hesitate to contact the Fulton County DUI Attorney Richard Lawson today. A DUI conviction can significantly affect your life. Let an experienced and knowledgeable attorney fight for you. Call our office today at (404) 816-4440.