Device can help stop teens from driving drunk

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A new idea to keep Michigan teens from being a drunk driving statistic is on the table.

Grand Ledge Senator Rick Jones is backing a bill that would allow parents to install a breathalyzer in a family car, while keeping the state out of the mix.

News 10's Cryss Walker spoke with local parents to see their stance on the idea.

Senator Jones says although installing breathalyzers will help decrease drunk driving rates, there's something making parents reluctant.

“The current rules require that interlock report to the Secretary of State every time somebody has a violation”, said Senator Jones.

Interlock is a company that makes breathalyzers for cars.

Some parents say they support the idea as long as violation reports are sent to them and not the state.

“I would not want to put my child through that”, said Karla Anderson.

“But I would want a safety net, if there was one available”, Anderson continued.

The bill being pushed by Senator Jones would allow Interlock providers to make a Start-up Operated Breath Engine Restrictor, known as a SOBER device.

“My bill simply allows breathalyzers to be put in your car, at your cost, to prevent one of your children from driving drunk”, said Senator Jones.

Terry Zitzelsberger supports the bill.

“Kids in that age group are new to driving… unfortunately some of them will try drinking… I think this will help save lives”, Zitzelsberger explained.

The SOBER device reports would not be released to the Secretary of State, which makes parents more comfortable.

“I mean I have a daughter she's 15, she's gonna be 16 and driving in December”, said Kristen Clisch.

“Just having that, knowing that she's not gonna get behind the wheel (is comforting)”, Clisch explained.

Other parents say they share the same sentiment.

“For my own children, it's a self-awareness point, it's something that can just keep them on their toes”, said local mother Amber Steffen.

The SOBER devices will look different than traditional breathalyzers to help cut down on confusion with police.