Surpassing Ignition Interlock Proves Costly for Washington Man


Ignition interlocks have been all the rage in proposed DUI laws in large part to the ability of these devices to prevent DUI offenders from even starting a vehicle without first passing a breath test and demonstrating their sobriety.

With that in mind, having someone else take the breathalyzer test may be a shortcut to surpass ignition interlocks, but it's not highly recommended, as the recent sentencing of a Washington State man who did so reveals.

Former Thurston County corrections officer Michael Bowe was sentenced to a year in a jail after he was found to be in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence during a September 26, 2006 incident in which the 54-year-old man had his young grandson blow into the ignition interlock device to start his car.

Not only did an intoxicated Bowe have a child blow into the device to turn over the vehicle but he also drove around with his three-year-old and five-year-old grandsons in the vehicle. Bowe was later found passed out in the vehicle on a private a road with his grandchildren still in the car.

Bowe was originally sentenced to 120 days for reckless endangerment and being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. He was then hit with an additional 260 days in jail after a judge revoked his suspended sentence from a 2004 conviction for DUI.

Bowe, who will certainly not get any votes for "Grandfather of the Year," has had his run-ins with drunk driving in the past. In fact, Bowe was one of several law enforcement officers recently featured in a Seattle Post-Intelligencer investigative series depicting how officers

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