The recent arrest of Mark Mullan for allegedly killing two pedestrians and critically injuring two others has thrust the issue of ignition interlock compliance into public discussion.
In just the last six months, Mullan had been arrested three times for drunk driving, reports Q13 Fox. In Washington, even a first-time drunk driver is required to install an ignition interlock device into his car. This device will presumably discourage drunk driving by "locking" the engine of the car if the driver has alcohol on his breath.
Unfortunately, for an ignition interlock device to do its job, a driver must first install the device into every vehicle he will drive. And Mullan apparently failed to comply with this requirement.
The deterrent to drivers who drive without an ignition interlock device or even a valid license is that they face serious penalties if they are caught. But the sad fact is that many drivers ignore these possible penalties -- oftentimes leading to disastrous results.
According to the state, there are over 43,000 people who are supposed to have an ignition interlock device installed in their cars. However, only 26,768 drivers actually have the devices installed. So who checks to make sure these requirements are met?
Three State Patrol troopers in the entire state are reportedly responsible for enforcing these thousands of ignition interlock devices, writes Q13 Fox. They conduct home visits and can require offenders to show proof they have the interlock devices installed. Sometimes, county probation officers will also check to make sure these requirements are complied with.
Admittedly, state lawmakers say this is not a perfect system.
Individuals who are required to install an ignition interlock device into their car should immediately install the device if they plan to drive. The risk for not installing the device is just too high as seen in Mark Mullan's case.
To learn more about ignition interlock law and defending a DUI case in the Seattle or King County areas, you may want to contact experienced drunk driving defense attorneys. Contact the lawyers at Wolff Criminal Defense for a free consultation. You can reach us at 425-284-2000.