Laws may be tough, but they are too often subjective when it comes to judging a drunk driver’s intent behind the wheel. For example, Missouri can be tough on DUI offenders, but each incident is open to different interpretations depending on the circumstances. Admittedly, a legal team can find ways around those tough consequences at times, making the DUI laws more like guidelines than mandates. What Missouri and other states need is a better investment in the safety of residents: fewer plea bargains and deals in court, and more ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of DUI offenders.
Ignition interlock devices are technology-based tools that attach to a vehicle and keep it from starting if alcohol is detected in a breath sample. While the vehicle is in motion, more of those samples are required, ensuring the driver is sober and that no more DUIs can occur. The device teaches lessons about sobriety, compliance and commitment while allowing the offender the freedom to drive to work, school and around town, living life as normally as possible.
Plea bargains and probation from a court don’t do any of the above. In fact, when you reduce the serious nature of a drunk driving conviction to a lesser charge, offenders may not see the error of their ways. Instead, they could go on to make another bad call with the alcohol and put lives in danger on the roads. Some could even be responsible for a DUI fatality. Ignition interlock devices, however, stop all of that before it can even start, without fail.
Anyone can make a mistake, and plenty of DUIs are just that – a lapse in judgment. But with the number of DUI fatalities that occur each year, nobody really has the luxury of treating the crime as anything but serious. Missouri needs fewer DUI deals, and an expansion of ignition interlock requirements for drunk drivers.