H.B. 469 (Annie’s Law) presented at the Ohio Statehouse on Thursday will require an ignition interlock device be installed on the vehicle of all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders. Ohio law currently prescribes “blow to go” devices for repeat drunk driving offenders, but not on a first offense. We have longed warned (previous story HERE) that this was at the top of MADD’s agenda and a continuation of their desire to impose penalties on a driver before they are found guilty of an offense. Essentially, this law is an attack on a person’s presumption of innocence. State Representatives Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) and Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) are the lead sponsors of House Bill 469.
Currently, interlock search devices are used in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. However, states vary widely in how the ignition interlock devices are used and which drivers are required to install them. In West Virginia, for example, interlock devices are only ordered at a judge’s discretion while Michigan mandates their use for drivers who are found with a BAC more than twice the state’s legal limit. In Ohio, ignition interlock devices are required for any driver accused of a second OVI (drunk driving) offense and are otherwise discretionary to the judge. NHTSA and MADD want to eliminate these discrepancies and urge the adoption of a model rule which covers first-time offenders with a BAC just over the legal limit and would require the installation of ignition-preventing interlock search devices on hundreds of thousands more vehicles. Currently, only 20 states require the devices for anyone convicted of a drunken driving-related offense.
Some studies show that ignition-preventing interlock devices are about 75 percent effective in keeping those previously convicted of drunken driving from repeating their behavior. While there are numerous different designs, the typical ignition interlock requires the driver to blow into a tube that measures breath alcohol levels. If a person fails he or she may try again, for up to three attempts before the vehicle is locked down. Other versions may also use cameras to record a person’s behavior behind the wheel. Courts may access the data recorded and, in some jurisdictions, a motorist who blew over the limit may face additional penalties. Ignition Interlock devices typically cost about $150 and may run $80 a month or more to maintain.
Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671. You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI defense.”
Find information on Ignition Interlock devices on this blog, or check these city-specific sites at the following links: