Maine is the newest state to propose a bill that would allow first time and habitual DUI offenders to cut down on their license suspensions by having a breathalyzer installed in their vehicles. The breathalyzer, also known as the ignition interlock device (IID), is a device wired to a vehicle’s ignition that requires a breath sample from the driver before the engine will start. A photo of the driver is taken while the sample is being given and transmitted to a monitoring service in real time. If alcohol is detected at any point prior to or while the ignition is running, the ignition will stop.
This proposal mirrors that of California’s Ignition Interlock Device Pilot Program. The purpose of the program is to reduce the number of driving under the influence offenses and to provide data to the DMV as to the effectiveness this device has in preventing future DUI’s. While license suspensions alone reduce the number of DUI re-offenders, the IID pilot program will require these offenders to actually prove their sobriety, further reducing the number of re-offenders in the state.