In our last post we discussed the arrest of a 23-year-old San Francisco woman who caused a fatal pedestrian accident while drunk. Intoxicated driving is one of the largest causes of pedestrian accidents in the San Francisco area and drunk driving incidents tend to worsen around Christmas and New Years’ day.
The AAA recently announced that it is joining the National Transportation Safety Board in recommending for ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving arrestees. Alcohol-ignition interlocks are devices which prevent a driver’s car from starting unless they submit a breath test. Certain devices also require periodic breath tests to keep the car engine running.
“Safety can be improved by requiring ignition interlock device use for all first-time DUI offenders,” said an AAA spokeswoman. “However, simply mandating the device is not enough. We need to ensure that judges actually order IID use and that there is effective oversight and enforcement to ensure offenders have the devices in place on their vehicles.”
The Los Angles Times reports that several California counties are experimenting with mandating interlock devices for all first-time drunk drivers. The program has received resistance from the alcoholic beverage and restaurant industry. Restaurant and bar owners fear a decline in sales if drivers fear getting a DUI.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “AAA joins call for ignition devices for first-time drunk drivers,” Jerry Hirsch, Dec. 26, 2012