More than a year after the state of Alabama authorized ignition interlock devices for certain DUI offenders, the program is still waiting to be fully implemented. The interlock devices are meant to prevent a person previously convicted of driving under the influence from starting their car if their blood-alcohol level is 0.2 percent or higher. Scott Hoyem, the spokesman for the Alabama Office of Courts, reports that the implementation of the program is on hold due to funding concerns.
Offenders are required to pay $75 monthly for the devices during the first four months that they are being used. The state’s law is unclear on where revenue from that fee should be allocated. “So until these problems are worked out, we advise judges not to use the program,” Hoyem said. “The judges can decide to act on their own to use the devices, but participation is not something we are tracking at this level.”
According to Brent Buchannan of Engage South, most of the money would be funneled to an indigent services account. The funds would be used for people who can’t afford to maintain and lease the ignition interlock devices.
State lawmakers formed the Alabama DUI Prevention and Ignition Interlock Council strictly for the purposes of reviewing this issue. They’re scheduled to meet in October.
Alabama become the 50th state to pass an ignition interlock law in 2011.