A new bill before the Oregon legislature would require an ignition interlock device be installed in the car of anyone arrested for a 1st offense drunk driving charge (DUII), even before they are convicted.According to KEZI, the bill before the Oregon house would punish those who are able to avoid conviction by entering a DUII diversion program. The diversion program typically involved an alcohol education program, a victims impact program, and probation. If the program is successfully completed, the charge is dismissed as a diversion instead of a criminal conviction. Although, if a second DUII offense is ever charged, it will still count the diversion as a prior conviction.
An ignition interlock device is a rolling breath test machine installed in the car, which requires a clean (alcohol free) breath sample for the ignition to start. The problem with requiring an IID for any 1st offense DUII is that it unfairly punishes people based on what could easily be a one time, marginal incident, and it doesn’t truly target serious alcoholics and chronic drunk drivers.
Not to mention that the punishment kicks in before any proclamation of guilt. This is true in virtually all drunk driving cases, where at a minimum, a person’s driver’s license is immediately suspended before any hearing takes place. Innocent until proven guilty doesn’t apply, in what Lawrence Taylor calls “the DUI exception to the Constitution.”
There are alternative ignition interlock bills that could also be passed, so the details remain hard to pin down on exactly how this may play out.