Mandatory ignition interlock would save lives — period [Letter]

Sarah Longwell and her friends at the American Beverage Institute, all lobbyists for the bar industry, claim it is just as dangerous for someone who has a .08 blood alcohol level (the legal definition of drunk driving in all states) to be driving as someone being distracted to dial on a "hands free" cell phone ("Ignition locks are unfair for first-time DUIs," June 2). Since when is justifying one dangerous and all-too-often deadly activity by claiming it is no more dangerous than another dangerous and all-too-often deadly activity acceptable to an unsuspecting public whose members are randomly killed by drunk and distracted driving every day?

The evidence proving that ignition interlock saves lives when required for all drunk drivers is overwhelming. The question for our legislators is: How many more innocent and totally random Marylanders have to die on our roads before enacting a simple measure that will keep an already convicted drunk driver from starting their car when they are drunk again?

Keith S. Franz, Towson

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