US states strengthen alcohol interlock laws

  • June 24, 2016

The US state of Pennsylvania has mandated alcohol interlocks for first time drink driving offenders. Meanwhile Virginia has set new requirements for the devices to be fitted with cameras to ensure the driver is the one taking the breath test before starting the engine.

Pennsylvania’s alcohol interlock law previously applied to repeat offenders – the changes mean that first time offenders can also face the requirement. The law is expected to come into force next year.

The campaign group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says that between 1 October 2003 and 1 December 2015, ignition interlocks prevented more than 78,000 instances of drink driving in Pennsylvania.

Virginia’s camera requirement will apply to all alcohol interlocks in the state and is designed to reduce fraud both on the initial alcohol test as well as subsequent tests taken during the drive.