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Would interlock devices on all cars reduce drunk driving arrests?

In our last post we wrote about the state of drunk driving arrests in the province and more specifically, in Toronto. Though overall, the number of charges for this crime is down, they are up in the Toronto area. A high number of drunk driving arrests translates into a heavy court load. Last year, of the cases tried in provincial court, 6 percent— or 13,000—were impaired-driving cases.

One judge with the Ontario Court of Justice recently made a suggestion regarding how to reduce the number of impaired driving cases on the docket. He suggested that the installation of interlock devices on all cars could reduce the number of these types of cases that the court sees.

Vehicles in which an interlock device is installed will not start, without someone first blowing into the device so that their breath can be analyzed. The car will not operate if the alcohol measured in the driver’s breath is over a certain level.

According to the judge, there are multiple ways in which the use of the device could be beneficial to the justice system. In addition to potentially lightening the court’s load, it would shorten the amount of time it would take for other cases to get through the process. It could also save the court money as well.

There are clearly additional steps would need to be taken before a change of this nature could take place. In the meantime, individuals who are arrested and accused of drunk driving should know that they can, and should, seek the assistance of a criminal defence lawyer.

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