Lawmakers want to require repeat DUI offenders to prove they can drive before turning on the car.Now, lawmakers want interlock devices instead of just as an option. The device costs about $60 a month and requires a driver to blow into a Breathalyzer.
“This is something that courts can do now, but aren’t, for one reason or another. I’m not sure why they aren’t ordering a lot of these,” said representative Neil St. Onge, Ballwin (R).
He said that for every 100 drivers out on the road, three of those drivers have had multiple DWI convictions. In Missouri, there are 118,000 people with multiple drunk driving convictions. More than 40,000 have three, and 7,300 have five or more.
“If you look at it another way, by having one of these on your car, it allows a person to get back to driving safely without drinking, and it allows them to continue to be a useful member in society,” said St. Onge.
Some believe this effort to keep the roads safer is simply not worth the cost.
“Well, I think that the trend around the country has been to push this expensive hardware,” said representative John Burnett, Kansas City (D). “I don’t think that hardware is an answer to alcohol treatment for people that have alcohol problems. I dont think that you can make them blow in machines and stop drinking.”
Representative St. Onge hopes to push this bill through both chambers before the end of the session on May 16.