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Ignition interlock devices are an alternative to a DUI conviction

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers says that ignition interlock devices save lives. Yes, they keep impaired Utah residents from driving drunk, but they save lives in another way. Many individuals charged with DUI are spared the negative effects of a conviction by opting to use an ignition interlock device.

According to MADD, somewhere around 2,500 people throughout Utah who use the devices were stopped before they drove drunk. The device is a small breath-testing machine that prevents the car from starting if any alcohol is detected on the driver's breath. Nationwide, approximately 348,727 attempts to drink and drive were thwarted by one of these devices between Dec. 2015 and Dec. 2016. Within the last 10 years, estimates put the number of attempts to drive while impaired that were stopped by the devices at 2.4 million.

Those are encouraging statistics, but they only tell half the story. The apparent success of ignition interlock devices could be part of the reason for a proposed bill in Utah's legislature. If passed, drivers might keep their licenses, which would enable them to work and take care of their families, as long as their breath is tested for alcohol twice a day.

Many people charged with DUI, especially for the first time, could take advantage of special programs designed to keep a conviction off their records. Using an ignition interlock device could be part of one of those programs. In order to understand all of the options an individual might be able to take advantage of, it would be beneficial to discuss them with an attorney who routinely helps people in the same situation, and therefore, is familiar with the alternatives.

Source:, "Mothers Against Drunk Driving tout success of ignition interlock devices", Lauren Handley, March 15, 2017

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