Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ignition Interlock

Ignition interlock proposal wins unanimous approval from House

The House was successful Monday evening in passing landmark ignition interlock legislation through the State House of Representatives. House Bill 2768 will require certain DUI offenders to use an ignition interlock system, in which users must ‘blow’ below a certain blood alcohol content (BAC) level to turn on their vehicle. Lawmakers have carried some form of the legislation for several years, and worked particularly hard this year in securing passage.

Members contended that the legislation was needed to curb the number of repeat drunk drivers on Tennessee roads. Forty-eight other states have some form of ignition interlock, but Tennessee is only the fourteenth to impose mandatory use of the device on first time offenders.

Specifically, the bill requires anyone convicted of a DUI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .15 or higher to use the ignition interlock device (IID). The sponsor also stated that the bill addresses a DUI from arrest to treatment to release.

Having already passed unanimously in the Senate, the bill is now headed to the Governor for his signature.

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