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The Ignition Interlock Device Law for Drunk Drivers

It has been one year, since the Ignition Interlock Device Law became a reality for Connecticut drivers. It is important to understand the various elements that put the law intro practice. It is also important to understand just how strict this law actually is. When you can keep both of these things in mind, you will be in a much better position to appreciate how the law has improved things to a dramatic degree.

Why Was This Law Created?

Between 2003 and 2012, the state of Connecticut counted an astonishing number of drunk-driving related fatalities. In total, over the course of those nine years, 1, 039 drunk-driving related fatalities were counted. Across the nation, the numbers are even bleaker. In 2013 alone, over ten thousand drunk-driving related fatalities were counted. Clearly, something dramatic needed to happen, if these numbers were ever going to change., although according to numerous sources, including DUI Attorney Santa Cruz, the numbers are not necessarily an accurate indication of deaths/injuries caused by actual drunk drivers.

West Manchester Township Police Officer Adam Bruckhart, left, and York Area Regional Police Officer Mike Georgiou observe a driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol as he performs a field sobriety test at a DUI checkpoint on the business loop of Interstate 83 Friday, April 23, 2010. The driver was later arrested on suspicion of DUI. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN

Connecticut decided to become one of the states that would work to stem the apparent senseless tide, argues advocates of the law.

On July 1st, Connecticut established a law that sought to accomplish two things. In the first place, it wanted to substantially curb the temptation to drink and drive. Furthermore, the law wanted to establish a precedent in which first-time offenders would scarcely have the opportunity to make a second mistake. To that end, as you can imagine, the new state law that went into effect on July 1st was going to be a profoundly strict law. To begin with, all DUI offenders would be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles.

If this sounds like something you have heard about in the past, you are not incorrect. As it currently stands, twenty-four other states have elected to crack down on first-time offenders. Connecticut is just one the twenty-four currently requiring first-time DUI offenders to have one of these devices attached to these cars. All fifty U.S. states have this device in some form or fashion for DUI perpetrators. Approximately the size of a TV remote, you will find that the device sits on the front of a vehicle.

How Does the Law Work?

The ignition interlock device is a type of breathalyzer. Once the device has been attached to the vehicle, the function of the device is simple. An individual will breathe into the ignition interlock device (also known as an IID). A limit has been set with the device. If the driver goes over the limit, they will not be able to start their car. If the device stays under the limit, they will be able to start their car.

While all of the above sounds pretty straightforward, the device requires more. An individual with one of these devices on their car will need to provide random samples along their journey.

In other words, if the sample goes above .025, the car is not going to start. The device will stick to that sample limit for the random breathalyzer tests, as well.

It certainly makes sense for Connecticut to look to the device for help. However, the law as it was passed one year ago wanted to do something a bit more ambitious. It wanted to put as substantial a dent into the number of drunk driving incidents as humanly possible. Thus far, the measure has proven to be enormously successful. This has been the case in most of the states in which stricter measures with the IID has been put into effect.

One Year Later

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Both the national and state chapters of MADD pushed for Connecticut to take stricter measures with drunk drivers. They are no doubt pleased that the results of the law thus far have been encouraging. The law has led to a drop in incidents, accidents, and fatalities across the board.

Given that the legal limit for Connecticut is 0.08, the law has thus far been a powerhouse measure. It answers the criticism that the laws on the books prior to last July 1st were too lenient. Those within organizations such as MADD expressed distaste with consequences like suspended licenses and jail time, believing that neither of those things compelled meaningful change. Once the new law went into effect, over sixty-five hundred Connecticut drivers were impacted.

It stands to reason that additional states will put similar laws on the books, as time goes on.

Politics In Connecticut

When it comes to the chaotic political landscape that defines the United States, it is important to understand that every state is important. At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that each state brings something unique, even compelling to the larger political world.

Connecticut offers a great deal. If you want to understand politics on a national scale, it is not a bad idea to brush up on the current state of politics in Connecticut. This means not only looking into the current political races that are being waged from one end of the state to the other. It also means understanding the current issues that are unique to Connecticut. Taken as a whole, you apply everything you might learn about these subjects to the larger field of national politics.

Looking Into The Senate Election

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The 2016 U.S. Senate election for Connecticut will be held on November 8th, 2016. The election will be held concurrently with the United States Presidential election, in addition to other Senate elections, state elections, and local elections throughout the country. If needed, party primaries will be held on the 9th of August. Richard Blumenthal is the incumbent Democratic Senator. He will be running for reelection.

It is unlikely that anyone will challenge Blumenthal for the Democratic nomination. On the Republican side of things, State Representative Dan Carter stands on the declared side of things. Numerous individuals on the Republican front were flouted as potential contenders. In the end, names such as Jack Orchulli (withdrew), August Wolf (failed to qualify), Linda McMahon (declined) fell by the wayside. Dan Carter is likely to be the Republican contender who runs against Richard Blumenthal in the fall.

As of this writing, all major outlets are predicting a victory for Blumenthal.

Looking Into The House Of Representatives Elections

On November 8th, 2016, Connecticut voters will have the opportunity to elect five individuals to serve in the U.S. House. This will include one individual for each of the five congressional districts that can be found within the state.

The candidate filing deadline was June 6th, which means it has already passed. The primary election will be held on August 9th of this year, while the general election will be conducted on November 8th. Remember that the closed primary system is utilized in the state. This means that only registered members of the party will be able to take part in the primary proceedings.

The Democratic general election candidates are as follows:

1. John Larson (incumbent)

2. Joe Courtney (incumbent)

3. Rosa DeLauro (incumbent)

4. Jim Himes (incumbent)

5. Elizabeth Esty (incumbent)

On the Republican side of things:

1. Matthew Corey

2. Daria Novak

3. Angel Cadena

4. John Shaban

5. Clay Cope

How Many Electoral Votes Does Connecticut Have?

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Through the 2020 Presidential Election, Connecticut will continue to hold their current standing of seven electoral votes. It is interesting to note that the state has participated in all fifty-seven Presidential elections. Having joined the union in 1788, Connecticut is invaluable in the present for its connections to the past. After all, it is one of the thirteen original colonies.

Although the state has voted Republican in the past, the last several elections have been overwhelmingly positive for Democrats. The state has gone for the Democrats for the past elections. This is unlikely to change anytime soon, although it is worth mentioning that Republicans have managed to close the gap to a significant degree. The state was 38.2% Republican for the 2008 Election. By 2012, it had gained two percent from the portion of the state that voted Democrat. While these numbers are not game-changing by any means, it does seem to indicate that the state can accept shifts to a certain degree.

Interestingly enough, the 2016 poll numbers for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump reveal that Clinton would come out on top. However, both Quinnipiac and Emerson College indicate that Trump would put up a decent fight with 40%.

In the end, it stands to reason that the state is going to remain with the Democrats. While the state certainly suggests it can change, and it has changed in the past, Democrats appear to be quite settled in for the long haul.