Curbing Drunk Drivers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Curbing Drunk Drivers

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Washington - Washington State Troopers are going to new measures to enforce the Ignition Interlock Law.  

Convicted drunk drivers are now required to get an alcohol detecting device installed in their car.  Troopers say 80% of first time DUI offenders are caught driving drunk again.   But that number drops down to 18% if they use the lockout device.  State Trooper Steve Luce says that's enough to convince state troopers to tighten the way they enforce the law.  

"We're going to do a little bit more of knocking on doors, or knocking on car doors and seeing if they actually have them installed in their cars.  And if they don't then we'll enforce action from that point on," said Trooper Steve Luce, Washington State Patrol.

State Patrol would make random checks of convicted drunk drivers who should have the alcohol detecting device in their car.  Those caught without the ignition lockout devices could face misdemeanor charges, a fine up to $2,000 dollars and up to 6 months in jail.

In Washington, there are six different companies that install the machine.  The cost is roughly $60 to $70 dollars a month.   For a list of ignition interlock installation companies click on the link at the top of this page.