A new law aimed at cracking down on drunk driving could lead to some unintended consequences.
Annie’s Law took effect on Thursday. The law imposes stricter penalties for driving drunk and also gives first time offenders the option of foregoing jail time and a license suspension by installing an ignition interlock system in their car.
The system requires drivers take a breath test in order to start the car. Anything over a .02 won’t allow the car to start and will notify the court system, and OVI lawyer Joe Hada with Quinn Legal Associates said that’s the problem.
“I just don’t think people understand how easily it can be to violate one of these machines,” Hada said.
In a video he posted Thursday on YouTube, Hada demonstrated that users can blow a .02 or higher by eating a slice of bread. He said other yeasty foods like pastries and pizza can also set it off, not to mention energy drinks, cough syrup and mouthwash.
“Your license suspension could be doubled or extended,” he said.
And the law gives no guarantee a judge will even hear an appeal.
So, his advice?
“Rinse your mouth out and wait 15 to 20 minutes before you blow into one of these machines,” he said.
Washington D.C. and 28 other states have similar laws and one study out earlier this year showed states that require those systems have lowered their rates of drunk driving deaths.