Starting Saturday, some convicted drunk drivers won’t be able to start their cars without blowing into a breathalyzer.
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DUI offenders who had a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher will have to install what’s called an “ignition interlock device” in their vehicles. The unit won’t allow a car to start if the person who blows into it is intoxicated.
Harris Blackwood is the Director of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. He said the device will allow offenders to drive without a restrictive license.
“This will allow them to drive anywhere, with the protection of knowing that they cannot start that vehicle if they’ve been drinking,” Blackwood said.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving National President Colleen Sheehey-Church said ignition interlock systems are a win-win.
“They can get to go to work, they can get to go to school, they can pick up their kids, they can go to all their summer programs they want to go to, and summer parties — but this time they are doing it when they’re sober,” Sheehey-Church said.
She also points out that Georgia has had success with ignition interlocks with repeat offenders.
“Right here in the state of Georgia, over the last 10 years, we had attempts over 26,000 attempts to start while impaired,” Sheehey-Church said.
Georgia joins 48 other states requiring ignition interlocks for certain first-time DUI offenders.