As drunken drivers continue to the take the lives of more than 10,000 people each year and injure 345,000 more, North Carolina residents are up in arms to prevent repeat offenders from making the same mistake twice. Advocates of ignition interlock devices are asking that anyone who has been convicted of a DUI offense be required to install this preventative device in their car before getting back on the roadways.
An ignition interlock device is a mechanism that requires a driver to provide a breath sample before being able to start the engine of their car—meaning that if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the allotted limit, their car will not start.
Currently, seventeen states in the US have implemented this requirement as a penalty for a DUI conviction. Although each state maintains different laws as to when this mechanism will be installed, in most, anyone found guilty of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration that is over the legal limit will be required to submit to testing for a period of time.
In North Carolina, however, a first time offender was not required to use an ignition interlock device unless they were found to be driving with a BAC that was twice the legal limit of 0.08%. Advocates of the newly passed federal highway bill are now saying that this preventative measure could greatly reduce the number of drunken driving-related fatalities occurring in the state each year.
Since repeat offenders constitute one-third of all drunken driving accidents, supporters of this new legislation are hoping to see serious changes for the better. Unfortunately, not all drunk drivers can be prevented from getting behind the wheel, so if you have been injured in an accident at the hands of an intoxicated driver, you should know that you have rights.
By speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney, you may be able to better understand your rights to compensation, so do not hesitate to contact legal representation as soon as possible.