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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Proposed New York legislation envisions alcohol anklets

Ignition interlock devices have been used to deter individuals convicted of drunk driving in New York from once again getting behind the wheel. Currently, there are more than 200,000 ignition interlock systems installed on cars in the United States. The goal of these devices is to prevent drinking and driving and reduce the number of serious car accidents caused by drunk drivers.

Sadly, the use of these devices in New York has not been an effective deterrent. According to statistics, more than 71-percent of offenders "blow fails" into the device - meaning that they are still trying to drive while intoxicated.

While focusing on drivers who are considered "hard core" drinkers, states such as New York are taking it a step further. These states are considering implementing the use of alcohol anklets, such as the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor or SCRAMx, for convicted DUI offenders. With the anklets, states are hoping to change the behavior of drinkers to make them less likely to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.

Under New York's proposed legislation (Leandra's Law), convicted DUI offenders may be required to be monitored around the clock while wearing such an anklet if they fail to use the ignition interlock system.

If this legislation passes, then repeat DUI offenders may be subjected to wearing an alcohol anklet as a consequence of a DUI conviction. Whether these anklets will prevent drinking and driving is yet to be determined, but use of such devices could still be used in New York against those convicted of driving while intoxicated.

Source: familycarguide.com, "Alcohol Anklets To Help Stop Hard Core Drunk Drivers," Suzanne Kane, Oct. 19, 2011

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