In Seattle, a drunk driving conviction is severely punished and carries stiff penalties. One of these penalties includes the installation of an ignition interlock system for one year if the conviction is the defendant's first DUI offense. The length of time the ignition interlock system is in a defendant's car increases with the number of DUI offenses a defendant has. Recently, Seattle law enforcement has decided to add a camera to the ignition interlock system.
In Seattle, ignition interlock devices are required in cars used by drivers with a DUI conviction. The devices are used to prevent DUI offenders from reoffending. The driver must provide a breath sample in the device to start the vehicle. Now, law enforcement in Seattle is requiring the addition of a camera to the ignition interlock device as a precaution against drivers asking their passengers or others to provide the breath sample.
The cameras will take a picture of the driver when the device is ready for the driver to provide the sample and another when the driver is providing the breath sample into the device. The cameras will be used to ensure that the driver is not providing fake breath samples from other people. The installation of an ignition interlock system with the required camera will cost approximately $110 per month.
An individual charged with a DUI not only faces the possible installation of the ignition interlock system and camera, but also may a suspended driver's license, jail time, hefty fines and a permanent criminal record. In some cases, mistakes made by police during a DUI investigation may allow for reduced or result in dropped charges.
A person accused of drunk driving faces serious consequences, including reputational damage, in the community. A DUI defendant should be aware of the possible defenses that may apply to their case; it is important to remember that all defendants deserve a fair trial and all of their constitutional guarantees.
Source: The Seattle Times, "Cameras to help monitor breath of DUI offenders," Molly Rosbach, Dec. 31, 2012