An ignition interlock is the best way to stop a drunk driver from driving when they’re under the influence of alcohol, but the benefits of having an interlock installed in your car don’t stop there. As a man in Washington state recently found out, an ignition interlock can help you identify the thief who stole your car too.
It’s a familiar story: a man reports his car stolen and police are able to recover it shortly after. What’s different about this case was that when they found the car in Renton, they also discovered that the owner had an ignition interlock installed due to a drunk driving conviction. Most ignition interlocks are equipped with a camera that takes a photo each and every time someone blows to start. That’s why, when the thief tried to start the car by blowing into the ignition interlock, it snapped a few photos of him.
Once the car was recovered the police saw the photos taken by the ignition interlock and immediately knew who they were dealing with. Turns out the suspect has stolen quite a few cars, and now there’s two warrants out for him: one for the Renton auto theft and one for the theft of another vehicle.
This Renton car owner isn’t the only person who has avoided car theft thanks to an ignition interlock. Last year a Wisconsin man was getting into his car when two men approached him with a gun and told him to get out. They tried to start the car multiple times, but because the man had an ignition interlock in his vehicle they couldn’t manage to start it. Instead of getting away with his car, they made a run for it.
There aren’t many ignition interlock owners who are happy to have the device in their car, but you can’t deny that they keep roads safer by stopping drunk drivers and, in this case, also have the added bonus of catching a thief.