The National Transportation Safety Board wants every state to adopt laws that would require even first-time DUI offenders to get an ignition interlock device installed in their cars.
The non-binding NTSB recommendation is aimed at the 33 states that do not currently have an ignition interlock law in place, reports the Associated Press.
The recommendation comes on the heels of a study of wrong-way driving accidents and the finding that many of these accidents are caused by drunken drivers.
As you may know, an ignition interlock device is a device that gets installed in your car's dashboard. Typically, a driver must blow into the device before he can start the engine. If the device detects alcohol in the driver's breath, the engine will lock, preventing the driver from hitting the road.
The device normally locks if it detects any level of alcohol, even traces of alcohol well below a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content.
Ignition interlock devices are governed by state drunken-driving laws, and so the requirements vary. Some states require that the device be installed after even one DUI arrest, while other states require that it be installed at the discretion of a judge.
Interlock devices can be extremely expensive to install, and convicted DUI offenders may also be required to pay a host of mandatory fees to keep the devices running. These fees and costs can far exceed the fines for a DUI or even legal bills.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is critical that you work with a DUI attorney. An experienced attorney can help you prepare your defense and can possibly help you avoid having an ignition interlock device installed in your car.