TN DUI offenders required to install ignition interlock system - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

TN DUI offenders required to install ignition interlock system

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The West Tennessee MADD group stands wholeheartedly behind interlock systems for DUI offenders. The West Tennessee MADD group stands wholeheartedly behind interlock systems for DUI offenders.

(WMC-TV) - First time DUI offenders in Tennessee will soon be required to install an ignition interlock system on their vehicles.

Seventeen other states require first time DUI offenders to install the system. It forces drivers to breathe into a device before they can start the vehicle.

"To see something that saves lives and it has the potential of doing that and changing people's opinions of drinking and driving," said a volunteer with the West Tennessee Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Mary Page.

The West Tennessee MADD group stands wholeheartedly behind interlock systems for DUI offenders.

"Unless you're affected by a drunk driver you don't know understand the impact on the families," said Page.

If convicted of driving under the influence in Tennessee, drivers can expect fines and court costs to total more than $1,000. Consequences can also include a suspended driver's license and participation drug and alcohol treatment program. Offenders can also see jail time.

After July 1, DUI offenders will be required to have an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. When breathing into it, the system measures a person's blood-alcohol level. If it is too high, then the vehicle will not start.

"Anything that can save lives and avoid the grief that we seen over the last 20 years, it's worth lobbying for," said Page.

Tennessee already requires people with two or more DUI convictions to have an ignition interlock device, but starting July it will include first time DUI offenders.

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