U.S. Pushes States on Disabling Drunk Drivers’ Cars

WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx wants states to require first-time drunken drivers to use alcohol breath monitors before they get behind the wheel.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released guidelines on Tuesday for states to use “ignition interlock programs.” The programs force drivers to blow into a breath analyzer. If they’ve been drinking, their cars won’t start.

Currently 20 states require the devices for first-time offenders.

Foxx spoke at an event in Washington kicking off the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement program.

The Transportation Department says drunken driving crash deaths rose 4.6 percent last year to 10,322. It’s the first jump after six years of declines. Last year 830 people died in drunken driving crashes during the winter holidays.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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