NTSB report: Ignition locks not foolproof

Board wants new requirements for convicted drunken drivers


SAN ANTONIO – The National Transportation Safety Board wants all states to require ignition interlock devices installed in the cars of all convicted drunken drivers.

A third of the nation's 32,000 traffic deaths each year are drunken driving fatalities, which gives the NTSB reason to make Interlock Systems mandatory for all of those convicted, even first-time offenders.

District Attorney Susan Reed said breath test ignition locks, which are intended to stop drunken drivers, are already required in Bexar County for repeat offenders, something many San Antonians said they approve of.

But some say there's another side to the interlock system that may give anyone on a roadway a false sense of security.

"There's a lot of other things you can blow on ... and keep on going, like air compressors, or (you can have) somebody else who blows for you," San Antonio resident Frances Solis said.

Solis said she thinks the interlock system is not fool-proof.

Reed said the interlock ignition system does work well to educate the person of their bad choices before they get behind the wheel.

Reed said there's another tool that can change habits.

"You wear a little ankle bracelet that reads it off your skin," she said. "That's the SCRAM, and that's really going to tell you what's going on."