Spin Cycle

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving has thrown its weight behind Nassau County's recent sweep that led to the arrests of 21 drunken drivers who drove to probation offices without mandated interlock ignition devices on their vehicles.

“Nassau County’s commitment to enforcing the state’s ignition interlock law will undoubtedly result in lives saved and injuries prevented,” MADD National president Jan Withers said in a statement this past week. “MADD encourages other counties across the country to follow Nassau County’s lead, making sure that convicted drunk drivers are not endangering public safety by driving a vehicle without an interlock.”

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A 2010 law requires an ignition interlock to be installed on vehicles used by convicted drunken drivers, who must blow into the device's alcohol detection tube before the car will start. The device stays connected a minimum of six months for a misdemeanor, and a year for a felony conviction.

In Nassau, 20 percent of all probationers get the interlock. Nationwide, less than 25 percent  of all drunken driving offenders get the devices, either due to lack of a legislation or failure in the implementation of all-offender interlock laws, MADD officials said.

Photo: Assemb. Joseph Saladino, of Massapequa, demonstrates the ignition interlock device that is installed on vehicles of those convicted of drunken driving.