Thursday, May 03, 2007

Committee Sees First-Hand Demonstration of Ignition Interlock Device Used to Deter Drunk Driving
Maine’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee saw a demonstration on April 25th of how an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) might work if the legislature approves a bill sponsored by Senator Lynn Lynn Bromley, D-Cumberland County.

Paul Gaspar, a law enforcement official with the Maine Association of Police volunteered to demonstrate how the device would work. Prior to the committee meeting, Gaspar consumed three alcoholic drinks under close supervision. When he blew into the IID before the committee, the device indicated that the user had a blood alcohol content of .02 or higher. If the device had been deployed in a real world scenario, the IID would have prevented Gaspar’s car from starting. Additionally, the device has the ability to record failure rates, which could be sent back to law enforcement officials.

The goal of Bromley’s bill is to require certain OUI offenders to install an IID into their automobile. The duration of time the ignition interlock device would be required would depend on the number of OUIs.

The analyzer monitors the concentration of alcohol on the breath of any person who attempts to start the motor vehicle by using the ignition system. The device prevents the vehicle from starting unless the person provides a breath sample with a concentration of alcohol that is below a preset level.

More info about the bill, LD 856, An Act To Reduce Drunk Driving, is available online at:


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