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Ignition interlock devices to include camera starting Jan. 1

Fri., Dec. 28, 2012, 12:45 p.m.

Smile, you’re on drunk driver camera.

In an effort to increase accountability for those with a history of driving while intoxicated, all alcohol ignition interlocks in Washington will be equipped with a camera starting Jan. 1.

The camera will snap a photo every time the machine is used in order to verify the driver is the person taking the test.

The locks are mandatory on the vehicles of those who have been accused or convicted of driving while impaired. The car will not start without a breath sample below the legal limit of .08.

Washington State Patrol Lt. Rob Sharpe said impaired drivers have been known to ask passengers, even children, to blow into the machine for them to start the car.

“We’ve even heard stories of people trying to use portable air compressors to take the test,” Sharpe said in a statement released by the patrol Friday.

The machine’s software will record attempts to tamper with the device, and Sharpe said the patrol will pay visits to those they can prove were trying to cheat the system.

Penalties for trying to tamper with the machine can result in a loss of license.

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