BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new law will take effect in Ohio early next year, allowing first-time drunk driving offenders to choose either a license suspension or having their vehicle wired with a breathalyzer in order to start it.
One company in Boardman sells breathalyzers, so we paid them a visit to see how this new process will work.
Friday afternoon, B.E.S.T. Labs owner Nick Doinoff demonstrated what is known as an ignition interlock system, which requires an alcohol test before starting a vehicle.
The new state law will help Doinoff’s business.
“Now, first-time offenders, any DUIs that occur in the state of Ohio come Jan. 1, 2020, you’re allowed to have the interlock without having your license suspended,” he said.
Doinoff, through B.E.S.T. Labs, has been selling and leasing ignition device systems for 30 years.
He has 3,000-4,000 of them in 24 states, where some laws are stricter than others.
“In New Mexico, a fourth-time offender, you have to have it on for life,” Doinoff said.
As part of Ohio’s new law, a camera that takes a picture of the person blowing into the device must also be mounted inside the vehicle. It’s proof that the test is being done by the correct person.
The picture is then transmitted to a B.E.S.T. Labs database with a timestamp, GPS location and a breath alcohol level.
“So if it fails, the state wants to know about it. They do. If you fail too many times, the state will increase the time you have to have the device in your car,” Doinoff said.
The system costs $75 to $300 to install, plus about $90 a month for monitoring.
B.E.S.T. Labs has also patented a facial recognition system that will be used in the future.