Local News

DWI Offenders In N.C. Will Soon Have To Take In-Car Breathalyzer Test

Posted May 11, 2001 2:02 a.m. EDT

— The state is promoting a new device that makes sure drunk drivers cannot get on the road and possibly injure someone.

With the Ignition Interlock System, motorists will not be able to start their car until they pass a breathalyzer test. The system may be an uncommon enforcement tool, but that is about to change.

"They're going to be very commonplace probably around October or November of this year," says Cathy Matthews, chief hearing officer for the DMV. "You'll be seeing more of them because you got to wait for them to be convicted before they actually have to come in here and get this unit."

Drivers with the Interlock Ignition System also have to pass random tests while on the road. Some motorists have complained about it.

"In North Carolina, the simple fact remains two people die in car crashes for every one that dies in a violent act," says Sgt. Jeff Winstead of theState Highway Patrol.

The state is trying to educate local courts and the law enforcement community about the Ignition Interlock System. They are about to launch a statewide awareness campaign.

Additional Resources:

  • N.C. Takes Steps To Put Brakes On Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders
  • Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina
  • Booze It & Lose It Campaign