New Hampshire police are alleging that a Merrimack elementary school teacher twice had her daughter take a breath test for her in order to unlock her vehicle’s ignition. According to a wmur.com article, the woman allegedly had her daughter blow into the breathalyzer tube of the ignition-locking device that was installed on her vehicle following a 2008 DUI conviction. Consequently, police have charged the woman with two counts of alcohol ignition interlock circumvention, a misdemeanor offense in the State of New Hampshire.
An alcohol interlock ignition device is a breath alcohol analyzer connected to a car’s ignition system. Any measurable amount of alcohol detected on the user’s breath would prevent the car from starting. The use of ignition interlock systems has spread throughout the country in recent years, as the devices often provide a desirable alternative to full license suspension. Use of such systems is regularly a condition of probation or parole.
Alcohol safety interlocks can be extremely difficult to circumvent when installed properly, and have been demonstrated to reduce recidivism rates of DUI offenders. Nonetheless, despite the many benefits of such devices, their operation remains far from foolproof, as false readings and malfunctions are sometimes reported.