By Michael Rich
If you’re convicted of drunken driving in the United States, should you want to keep driving, a judge sometimes will require that you install an ignition interlock system in your car. Provide a breath sample and the system determines whether your blood is free of alcohol.
While inconvenient for the driver, the sanction makes sense. Drunken drivers are often recidivists. Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates that the average drunken driver climbs behind the wheel impaired 80times before he or she is caught. Such convictions, with their accompanying due process, provide a formal indication of the person’s dangerousness that justifies an imposition on liberty.
Rich is an associate professor at the Elon University School of Law.