Ignition interlock business booming after new DUI law - WSMV Channel 4

Ignition interlock business booming after new DUI law

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A new law designed to keep drunk drivers off the streets is having an interesting effect on one industry.

The law requires an ignition interlock device for anyone convicted of driving under the influence in Tennessee after July 1, and auto shops have been staying busy with installations.

"Every day we get new customers," said Kendall Dunn, at Cartronics.

While Cartronics is mostly known for its audio and security business, it's another side of the business that's booming these days.

By noon Thursday, workers there had already installed two ignition interlock devices.

"Every day, we get a lot of phone calls from people inquiring about the device before their court date even if they know they have to get them," Dunn said.

Back in 2009, interlocks were only installed at a judge's discretion, and only 507 people had them installed on their cars in Tennessee.

Last year, those with certain DUI offenses were required to get them, and the number of interlock devices went up to more than 3,500.

But this new law requires everyone convicted of a DUI to get the device, which prevents their car from starting, if they have had a drink.

In the past year, almost 27,000 people have been convicted of a DUI in the state.

With that kind of potential increase in customers, it should come as no surprise that one-third of all interlock installers in the state have been certified just in the past six months.

Add to it that the devices must be regularly serviced and calibrated, it doesn't surprise installers that more people are going into the interlock business.

"Where there's a demand, there's going to be more supply and places for them to be installed," Dunn said.

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