AAA Joins Call for Mandatory Ignition Locks

Earlier this month we brought you information on the National Transportation Safety Board’s call for mandatory ignition interlock devices’ inclusion for all DUI and DWI convictions, including first-time offenders. Now it seems another automotive travel association has echoed the NTSB’s statements, making it all the more likely that sweeping national legislation may soon be enacted.

The automotive non-profit organization AAA last week voiced its official support for ignition interlocks as a mandatory sentence term for all drunk driving convictions. Such a stipulation has been approved in Missouri and will take effect next fall. However, 33 states currently do not yet legally require the locks to be assigned to every convicted DUI or DWI offender. AAA called for this to change.

Citing similar reasons of safety as those noted by the NTSB earlier in December, AAA asserted that more lives can be saved with the inclusion of the lock devices.

Both the Distilled Spirits Council and, as previously noted, the American Beverage Institute have come out in opposition to the across-the-board use of ignition locks as a punishment, instead supporting the measure for those found to have a blood-alcohol content of .15 percent or higher. Those found to have lower levels of intoxication, the groups note, should be spared from the installation of locks.

While the nation continues to debate the virtue of ignition locks as a mandatory punishment for DUI and DWI offenders, Missouri residents don’t have much time before the measure becomes law statewide.

In addition to locks, which will follow a person convicted of drunk driving charges for the rest of their life, steep fines and formidable jail time can also come as a result of a “guilty” verdict. The help of a drunk driving criminal defense attorney, however, can help better the chance of a lessened charge and more agreeable sentencing.

Source: LA Times, “AAA joins call for ignition devices for first-time drunk drivers,” Jerry Hirsch, Dec. 26, 2012

  • Understanding the consequences of a DWI conviction is the first step toward a successful defense. For information on how to avoid strict sentencing, contact our St. Louis DWI law page.