On March 27, a fatal North Seattle accident may have been prevented if the 50-year-old driver had installed an ignition-interlock device as court-ordered. However, some motorists fail to comply with these directives and opt not to drive or to ignore the court-order and drive anyway.
An ignition-interlock device keeps a car from starting if the driver blows an alcohol-tainted breath sample into the machine. If the sample registers above .025 percent, the ignition locks and the blood-alcohol content is recorded. A judge will order the installation of these devices onto vehicles when someone is arrested for drunk driving.
As the man promised the courts he wouldn't drive without using an ignition-interlock device, the prosecutor stopped his speech. She informed the Snohomish County District Court that she smelled alcohol during the court proceedings. An on-the-spot breathalyzer check confirmed her suspicions when the man registered a .14 percent blood-alcohol content. The court ruled that he was a danger to society and increased his bail from $2,500 to $10,000.
After he paid the required monies, he was released. Less than two months later, a couple was dead and their daughter-in-law and grandson were seriously injured in an accident involving the man. Despite his promises to the court, his truck did not have an ignition-interlock device installed. His blood-alcohol content registered .22 percent, almost triple the maximum level allowed by law of .08 percent.
After someone is arrested for several DUIs, they might need to attend substance abuse treatment. A criminal defense lawyer might be able to request that clients attend residential alcohol counseling and negotiate counseling options with the prosecution.
Source: Seattle Times, "Ignition-lock reality: Many don't use device, still drive," Sara Jean Green, Christine Clarridge and Mike Carter, March 27, 2013
Source: Washington State Department of Licensing, "Ignition interlock device," 2013