Surpassing Ignition Interlock Proves Costly for Washington ManIgnition 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 arrested for drunk driving were treated less severely than regular citizens. Of the officers featured, Bowe was at the top of the charts with the longest rap sheet.
The investigative series specifically detailed that Bowe had five alcohol-related traffic stops before finally getting fired by Thurston County in May of 2004. Even more alarming, Bowe was arrested for DUI twice; however, those charges were dropped to negligent driving. Bowe also had a first-degree negligent driving charge reduced to second-degree negligent driving and wasn't charged at all on another occasion.
At least Bowe will now spend some time in a jail cell after his history of dangerous driving, as evident most recently by his foolish decision to have one of his grandsons blow into an ignition interlock and then put their lives in jeopardy by driving impaired with them in his car.