New law brings more accuracy to alcohol ignition interlock devices

CLARKSTON, WA - A new law brings a second layer of accuracy to the alcohol ignition interlock devices.

You take a breath sample. Get the OK. Then start your car. But now DUI offenders in the state of Washington also get their picture taken.

"All it does is record so that the state knows that someone else isn't blowing for them," said Audio Concepts assistant manager Reynaldo Carson.

Reynaldo is one of the technicians in the region certified by Washington State Patrol to install Alcohol Ignition Interlocks. And starting January 1st, they're required to install a camera into the driver's side of the vehicle.

"Anyone that's been arrested for a DUI related offense. And if they want to get their driver's license back after they've been arrested with a DUI related offense, they have to comply with the interlock laws," said Washington State Patrol Sergeant Ken Denton.

The device is intended to disable a car if the driver isn't able to give several legal breath samples. Denton said the new law has come into affect because several incidents have occurred where people have tried to fool the interlock machine. But now, the driver is in view of a camera, so passing off the breath test to a family member or friend isn't an option.

"We'll be able to refer that with a photograph, hard evidence of the person who is having his children blow into the device and they could get additional jail time as a result," said Denton.

The data from the camera and the interlock device is sent to WSP, and the offender has to have a certain number of no failures if they want their driver's license back without the interlock restriction.

Denton said Washington is the first state to mandate the cameras, but other states offer the option for camera installation to offenders.
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