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Stop proposed federal legislation meant to bribe states to force ignition interlocks

Feb 12, 2012 Stop proposed federal legislation meant to bribe states to force ignition interlocks

As I understand it, states created a per se guilty rule for blood alcohol content exceeding 0.08 in drunk driving cases, under threat of losing highway funding otherwise. I understand that the same impetus spurred states to raise their drinking ages in the early 1980’s.

Now, there is pending proposed federal legislation (details are here and here) in the House Transportation Reauthorization Bill to pay legal bribes of $25 million annually to each state that requires driving with the ignition interlock system by any person convicted of drunk driving, even with a low blood alcohol content.  

Please contact your Congressional representative to urge that this ignition interlock provision be removed from the Transportation Reauthorization Bill. The current drunk driving laws set such a low thresshold for a drunk driving conviction (as low as a 0.08 blood alcohol content) that people who are barely culpable get snagged into guilty DWI convictions under the current state of law. Requiring the ignition interlock is expensive for defendants to have it installed and to be part of the Interlock program, and an interlock restriction requires only using vehicles equipped with the interlock device.

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