Tell Us: Leandra's Law Restrictions

Is requiring in-car breathalyzers called ignition interlock devices too strict?

Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice announced Tuesday that 25 people with prior DWI convictions had been arrested for violating a court order to use ignition interlock requirements on their vehicles.

Since August of 2010, those convicted of drunk driving have been required to install the devices which operate like breathalyzers and require drivers to breathe into it before starting the car. If the device detects an unsafe blood-alcohol level, the car will not start. The requirement is a provision of Leandra's Law, which is most known for making it a felony on the first offense to drive drunk with a person under the age of 15 in the vehicle.

Do you believe ignition interlock devices should be required in cars driven by those charged with DWI? Do you think it's an effective way of curbing repeat offences or is it a small hurdle for chronic drunk drivers? Should people with lower BAC levels at the time of their arrest have leniency?

Vote in the poll below and give us your thoughts in the comments.

Jeannette Donovan August 30, 2012 at 06:13 PM
No system is foolproof, but it may prevent a DWI fool from harming themselves or others. It's not too strict for first timers - it might actually prevent them from becoming second timers.
Heather Doyle August 30, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Good point, Jeannette!
SyossetPatchReader August 31, 2012 at 05:47 AM
As a first time DWI offender I had to have this device installed in my vehicle for 6 months. As much as I hated it and felt that it was a bit much. I think this was the most effective tool to deter future drinking/driving offenses. The embarrassment of having it in your car, or having to blow into it as you are driving on the highway is enough to make you learn a lesson. As far as "beating" the system, they now install infrared cameras along with the breathalyzer to make sure the driver is the one blowing into the device. However, requiring me to attend an Intensive Drug Treatment program was something I had issue with as a first time offender. Requiring a rehab program alongside hardcore drug users for 10 hours a week for three months is a bit over the top for someone who just went out one weekend and decided to drive home when he shouldn't have. A stupid and potentially dangerous decision on my part, yes. But most definitely not sufficient justification to claim that all DWI offenders are addicts in need of treatment. Just in my own one-time experience, it was overwhelmingly obvious that the majority of first time offenders were not in need of an intensive drug rehabilitation program. I'm not quite sure who is benefiting the most by sending all these people to rehab, but it sure isn't the offenders. You can draw your own conclusions from that.
Heather Doyle August 31, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Thank you for sharing that, SyossetPatchReader. The ignition interlock device combined with rehab makes it a pretty serious process.
Jeannette Donovan August 31, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Re: "But most definitely not sufficient justification to claim that all DWI offenders are addicts in need of treatment." Intensive drug rehab for first timers is over the top. That should be for people with multiple DWI issues.


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