Missouri legislation could affect those with car breathalyzers

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JEFFERSON CITY - Motorists who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated could have an ignition interlock device on their cars for a longer time period.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed SB 254 this week. Under the intoxication related offenses measure, the Department of Revenue can extend the number of months if an ignition interlock device detects a motorist tampering with it or an blood alcohol level above the set point.

Under the current law, people convicted of DWI can regain their licenses but must have the devices on their cars for six months. Then, if the device is tampered with or someone tests above 0.08 blood alcohol concentration during that six months, that person must use the device for another six months.

The legislation that Gov. Nixon signed this week requires an additional three months with the device if either of the terms are violated within the last three months of the driver's probation.

Meghan Carter, the executive director of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving state office, said MADD supports the bill. She said she believes it will make the current ignition interlock device law more effective.

She called the device "technology that really works."

Scott Holste, the press secretary for Gov. Nixon, said he is unaware of anyone in opposition to the new law.

One local resident said he thinks this change will help get drunk drivers off the street.

"When you do something like that, when you do something that reckless, that dangerous, that selfish honestly, there's going to be repercussions for it," Columbia resident Jordan Winn said. "They're going to be severe, and they should be severe."

The bill will go into effect on Aug. 28.