New DUI Law: Ignition Interlock Devices Now Take Pictures of Driver

California's Ignition Interlock Law Takes Effect Jan. 1 -- Occupational  Health & Safety

Starting January 1, 2013, people charged with DUI and having their driver’s licenses suspended or revoked by the Department of Licensing (DOL) will undergo more monitoring. Starting January 1, a camera will snap a picture every time their Ignition Interlock Device is used, verifying that the driver is the person who took the test.

Interlocks are required on the vehicles whose drivers have been caught driving impaired. They allow those drivers to continue to use their cars, but only after making sure they are sober. Anyone caught trying to fool the machine will get recorded and that information will go to Washington State Patrol. Drivers can lose their Ignition Interlock License as a result. Apparently, impaired drivers often ask passengers, friends or even children to take the test for them, said Washington State Patrol Lt. Rob Sharpe.

“We’ve even heard stories of people trying to use portable air compressors to take the test,” he said.

My opinion? I respect the implied need for increased safety, however, this new law seems invasive and unnecessary. I haven’t heard of any traffic accidents where someone faked blowing into their Ignition Interlock Device in some way, shape or form. Why is there a need for increased monitoring of people convicted of DUI if something horrible hasn’t yet happened?

The passage of this law is another reminder to hire a competent defense attorney if you’re charged with DUI. Good representation might save your license from getting suspended/revoked and an Ignition Interlock Device installed on your vehicle.

Please contact my office if you, a friend or family member are charged with a crime. Hiring an effective and competent defense attorney is the first and best step toward justice.