Politics
The interlock ignition system requires the driver to blow into a tube to prove sobriety before driving. Jim Mone/AP Photo The interlock ignition system requires the driver to blow into a tube to prove sobriety before driving. Jim Mone/AP Photo  

Idaho senator a candidate for ignition lock

Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo may be a candidate for an ignition interlock after he was charged with driving under the influence in Virgina on Sunday.

Crapo, a Mormon bishop who has claimed to abstain from alcohol for religious reasons, was pulled over after running a red light. When he failed several field sobriety tests, he was taken into custody “without incident.”

Seventeen states in the U.S. now require ignition interlock devices for first-time DUI offenders. The devices prevent the driver from starting their car without being breathalyzed first. Although Crapo may be a candidate for ignition lock because he was arrested in Virginia, he wouldn’t have been in his home state of Idaho.

Idaho requires ignition lock for repeat offenders — but not first-timers. However, there are a growing number of people saying the state should initiate a policy for all offenders.

The federal government’s National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent a letter to the Idaho state government last month asking for their response to a proposal requiring ignition lock devices for first-time DUI offenders.

“It’s time for the other 33 states to step up for safety and require ignition interlocks for all offenders,” NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman told The Spokesman Review. The letter is still under review in the state.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving and insurance company AAA Idaho are other groups who are pushing for more ignition lock devices. Citing states like Kansas, where all-offender ignition-lock devices were passed in 2011, the activist groups believe that upping the ante on first-time DUI offenders is a good idea.

Patch reported that Crapo has been released on an unsecured $1,000 bond. His court date is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2013.

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