Anybody who has had the experience of having the ignition interlock placed on their vehicle after their DUI suspension is over will tell you that it is a massive pain in the ass. They will tell you that the penalty AFTER a suspension is overkill and onerous. Others complain about the cost of having it installed and maintaining it. Still others complain about the requirement that they keep having to stop in the middle of driving somewhere so they can blow into the thing again or else the engine will shut down on them. And for good measure it wreaks havoc on one's insurance rates while often requiring the motorist to get a whole different type of insurance specially tailored to the interlock driver. But wait! Here's an idea. Bare with me. We all hate the interlock but there is something that is worse than that and that is the actual suspension that precedes it. You see, the way the ignition interlock is run is like this: When one gets a second or subsequent DUI there is always a full one year or 18 month license suspension and THEN the requirement that the interlock be installed in a vehicle. Its a double whammy. My idea starts with this premise: the people that get a DUI suspension are most likely going to drive anyway and take their chances that they won't get caught. They are unsafe because they are free to drive drunk again and they are beating the system by driving their vehicle in the face of a court mandated suspension. As a Montgomery County PA DUI lawyer I represent a lot of the drivers that fit in this category. On that note, I propose that we do away with the DUI suspension altogether and go straight to the ignition interlock. "Why" you ask? For starters it will prevent those convicted of DUI from getting behind the wheel drunk. They can't. The have to give the a breath sample or they are going nowhere. Secondly, with the proliferation of ignition interlocks that would be in action if my idea were adopted, the Commonwealth could take some of the money that goes towards installing and maintaining the devices and pour it into things like beefed up police power to deal with DUI as well as possibly putting some into the treatment courts that seem to be popping up all over the state to help motorists deal with their abuse of alcohol. Yes, it makes for safer roadways. Yes, it creates revenue. Yes, the idea makes perfect sense. That's probably why it will never happen.
More Ignition Interlock, Please