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In brief: Cameras to beef up ignition interlocks

Smile, you’re on drunken-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 Washington State Patrol announced.

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

The machine’s software will record attempts to tamper with the device.

Investigators confirmed an accidental electrical fire is to blame for the destruction of the Chief Joseph Nez Perce Longhouse.

The fire started at 12:30 a.m. at the historic longhouse in Nespelem on the Colville Reservation. The building, a religious and cultural center for the Colville Confederated Tribes, was destroyed along with historical items stored inside.

The tribes’ History and Archaeology Program will be collecting photos and memories of the longhouse from tribe members, said John Sirois, chairman of the Colville Business Council of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Cameras added to help commuters

North Spokane commuters planning their drive to work have new ways to check traffic before hitting the road.

The city of Spokane and Washington State Department of Transportation added 18 new cameras along U.S. Highways 195 and 2, including along Division Street.

Feeds from the cameras are available 24 hours a day on the Spokane Regional Transportation Management Center website, There are more than 90 live traffic feeds available in the Spokane area.

The cameras allow people to plan their routes and prevent congestion, said Staci Lehman, a spokeswoman for the center.


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