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New ignition interlock rules coming for those convicted of DUI?

Ohio considering new rules that would require ignition interlocks for even first-time DUI offenders.

The Fourth of July holiday was very busy for police near the Indiana-Ohio border. Several motorists were stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence, with many more being involved in alcohol-related crashes throughout the region.

This increase in the number of impaired drivers has led to some concern about the laws in place regarding DUIs. In Ohio, officials have proposed requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of a DUI. Currently, Ohio law only requires these devices are only required for those individuals who have two DUI convictions within six years. In Indiana, they may be required at the discretion of the court for offenders with two or more convictions.

The devices work by checking the operator's breath for the presence of alcohol. If the driver registers a blood alcohol content (BAC) above pre-set limits, the vehicle will not start. The interlocks will also perform random checks at different times while the vehicle is in operation to ensure that the driver is still below the limit.

Critics contend that these devices are not completely effective, as there may be ways to circumvent the interlocks. Some drivers may have other occupants blow into the device, which may then allow an impaired person to drive. Some jurisdictions have tried to address this issue by having cameras take pictures of the person trying to start the vehicle, and have imposed harsh penalties for those that attempt to bypass the devices.

These systems would be required after the person's driving privileges are restored. In DUI cases, a person will lose his or her license for a specific period of time. Individuals who have multiple convictions or a high BAC could see longer periods of suspension. Those required to install interlocks have to pay for the installation and monitoring costs.

If you have been charged with drunk driving, you need to understand the potential consequences of a conviction. Not only are you facing losing your driving privileges, but this could also have an impact upon other areas of your life. You could lose your job and make things much more difficult on your family.

Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. You need to have someone protecting your rights throughout the process. Police and prosecutors will be gathering evidence against you immediately after the arrest occurs, and you need someone to make sure they follow all of the proper procedures.

Remember, no matter how bad police make it seem, you do have options. Do not let yourself get talked into pleading guilty before you have a clear understanding of all the choices available in your situation.

Keywords: DUI, ignition interlock, criminal defense

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