New legislation gives option of ignition interlocks for offenders

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Indiana’s law on drunk driving will expand the use of an ignition interlock device in the next year. It’s an issue I-Team 8 explored last month.

The new legislation that passed this session makes it so convicted drunk drivers can go on an interlock, the device you blow into to start your car, as soon as they are convicted. Before, offenders had to earn the use of an ignition interlock by not testing positive for alcohol.

I-Team 8′s investigation last month focused on Michael Brown and his fiancé, who were both injured in a suspected drunk driving accident in Greenwood by a driver who already had two alcohol related convictions. Brown suffered a severe brain injury, having to learn to walk and talk again. Michael’s fiancé says they hope an effort like this will prevent future families from going through what they have.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving tried for years to get ignition interlock legislation. Now with this first step, the group told I-Team 8 next year, they will work to make the use of interlocks mandatory for at least six months for any convicted drunk driver who tries to drive on a suspended license.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, states requiring all convicted drunk drivers use an ignition interlock cut DUI deaths by over 30 percent.

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