A new law signed by Governor Haslam will require first-time DUI offenders to install an Ignition Interlock Device in order to drive on a restricted license during the year their license is revoked.
An Ignition Interlock Device requires the driver to self-administer a breathalyzer in order to start their car. The car will not start if the driver's blood-alcohol concentration is .02 or higher. The Ignition Device also takes a picture of the driver at the time the breathalyzer is taken. This is to prevent drivers from allowing another sober person to take a breathalyzer in order to start the car, then proceeding to drive after drinking. The Ignition Device will remain on the offender's car for 6 months.
Lawmakers and law enforcement met Tuesday to celebrate the Governor's passage of the new law. They called the new law "another tool in our toolbox to prevent tragedy."
Tennessee is the 18th state in the nation to enact a law requiring an Ignition Interlock Device. According to Flint Clouse, Mother's Against Drunk Driver's (MADD) Tennessee Executive Director, states with similar legislation have seen a reduction in DUI fatalities by 30% or more.
The new law will take effect in Tennessee July 1, 2013.