Tennessee Mandates Ignition Interlock Devices For First Time DUI Offenders

Tennessee has just adopted legislation which would make it the first state in the country to mandate ignition interlock devices be installed in the vehicles of all DUI offenders, even first-time offenders. The alcohol monitor devices are able to detect when a driver is intoxicated and prevent the car from starting, thus making the streets safer for all the drivers on the road by keeping drunk drivers off the streets.

Many states currently encourage or mandate the alcohol monitoring devices for those who are convicted of a DUI violation. Some states, including Colorado, require the devices be installed on the vehicles of offenders who are repeat violators or who had a BAC that was more than double the legal limit. However, Tennessee is taking things a step further and requiring that any DUI convict be forced to get an ignition interlock alcohol monitor installed on their vehicle as a precondition of receiving a restricted license to drive.

The ignition interlock devices are typically installed at the offender’s own expense and can be put in at any nearby auto shop, as long as they have an auto technician with the experience and knowledge necessary to do the install. Fort Collins Foreign Car Service provides this ignition interlock installation service to our customers as part of the many services offered by our auto shop.

The new Tennessee bill, known as House Bill 353, will go into effect on July 1, 2013 and require that all offenders who are convicted of a DUI have an ignition interlock device installed in order to enable them to be able to drive during the period that their regular license is suspended (typically a year, but more for repeat offenders).

At Fort Collins Foreign Car Service, we welcome the increased adoption and use of these alcohol monitor devices, because we have seen the data on just how much safer they can make our roads. With alcohol-influenced accidents one of the major dangers of driving on our roads, these devices can make it much safer to travel by car. In fact, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has reported that states adopting similar laws have seen drunk driving deaths drop as much as 30%. That is certainly significant and so we applaud Tennessee for taking an aggressive step to curb these unnecessary deaths.