Breathalyzer Gadget that disables cars goes mandatory in New York

1010ignition_interlock.jpgDrivers convicted of Drinking Under the influence in New York will now be forcibly fitted with a new gadget.

The Ignition Interlock is like the opposite of pimping your car: it’s a car lock combined with a breathalyzer. Clamping over the ignition switch it requires the driver to blow into the mouthpiece anytime they want to start the car. The car will only start if their blood alcohol level is below 0.025. That’s the equivalent of one drink.

Smart? – yes. It’s also pretty harsh…

The breathalyser also demands samples throughout trips: the device will sound an alarm at random intervals, forcing the driver to pull over, switch off the engine and take the breath test again. If they don’t do so without a set time, the vehicle will only continue working until the engine next shuts down.

If a driver repeatedly fails a breath test, they’ll have five days to take it in for a reset (which carries a further fee) or face the vehicle being permanently disabled.

Oh and if you were thinking of asking your friend to take a quick puff in it for you… there’s a camera attached with facial recognition to make sure the driver is the only one giving the sample. Anyone caught giving false samples will wind up back in court…

You also have to pay for the fitting – about $125 plus monthly upkeep fees from $69.50 to $92.

I suppose it is better than having your license taken away from you.. but it is like Big Brother..

The Ignition Interlock gadgets have been in use for a while, but their use in New York will bring them to a much wider number of people.

Should we have them in Britain?

Anna Leach


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