Proposed law would use technology to combat drunk driving - WNCT

Proposed law would use technology to combat drunk driving

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State lawmakers are looking to crack down on convicted drunk drivers.

The North Carolina state Senate Judiciary Committee reviewed Tuesday a proposed law, Senate Bill 424, that would require anyone convicted of a DWI to have an ignition interlock system installed in their car.

The device is similar to a breathalyzer. If the interlock system detects alcohol on the driver's breath, the car won't start.

Already 17 states require ignition interlock devices for first time DWI offenders, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB recommended in December 2012 that all 50 states enact such a law if they haven't already.

"If a person has an alcohol problem and we can get this instrument in their vehicle, and stop them from driving and injuring themselves or someone else, that's why I believe it's a good bill," said Sgt. Gary Weaver of the State Highway Patrol in Greenville.

The device would have to be installed in the car of anyone whose license was revoked for underage drinking, and any impaired driver who refuses to submit to a chemical analysis.

They would also have to pay a 30 to 60 dollar administrative fee for installing the device.

The bill says anyone who tampers with their ignition interlock system would have their driver's license revoked. If it passes, it would go into effect December 1.

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