Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ignition Interlock Debate

Below is a link to an opinion article that appeared in the Murfreesboro newspaper. It was written by Sarah Longwell, the managing director of the American Beverage Institute. Ms. Longwell sets out the position of the Institute, which is extremely consistent with the new ignition interlock law in Tennessee. Their position is that ignition interlocks should be reserved for high B.A.C. offenders and multiple offenders.
M.A.D.D. on the other hand wants an ignition interlock law that would require the devise for all convicted first offenders. The conflicting opinions were heard quite a bit in the General Assembly in 2010 and will probably be heard again this year. There is validity to each position and the wise folks up on the Hill will ultimately decide what they think is best for Tennessee.
I think everyone should be able to agree that our current system of suspending driver's licenses for many years for multiple offenders is ineffective. Those offenders continue to drive and generally care less about breaking the law than they care about draining their next twelve pack. I believe it is time to get more multiple offenders into long term treatment courts and use ignition interlocks to monitor their post jail behavior.
We will have to wait and see what happens next in the General Assembly. In the meantime, read the position of the Alcohol Beverage Institute at:

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