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Missouri residents may be interested to learn that a member of a U.S. Representative presented legislation to the House floor on July 8 that calls for the mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices on the vehicles convicted drunk drivers. According to the president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, ignition interlock devices are considered to be the best way to prevent recidivism among DWI offenders.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that ignition interlock devices function by requiring drivers to blow into them before they are able to start their vehicles. If the device detects alcohol on a driver's breath, he or she will not be able to start the vehicle. Should the proposed measure be passed, drivers nationwide who are convicted of DWI will be obligated to install ignition interlocks on their cars for at least six months.

The Democratic congresswoman who has proposed the law released a statement claiming that drunk driving adds $132 billion annually to taxes. As presently written, any state that failed to comply with the measure would be penalized with a reduction in transportation funding. The deadline for adopting the law would be October 1, 2014.

Being required to install an ignition interlock device is just one of several penalties someone convicted of DWI may face. However, in order to earn a conviction, needs to be able to present evidence implicating a defendant. Depending on the nature of that evidence and how it was gathered, it may be possible to contest or undermine it in a way that proves beneficial for the defendant. In cases where prosecutors are unable to generate sufficient evidence of DWI, they may be forced to reduce charges to lesser offenses or even completely dismiss those cases.

Source: Forbes, "New Ignition Interlock Legislation Aims To Save Thousands From Drunk Driving Deaths," Tanya Mohn, July 7, 2014

Source: FourStatesHomepage.com , "Missouri Lawmakers Propose New Ignition Interlock Requirements", Gretchen Bolander, July 08, 2014

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