Judge says St. Joseph program may violate Ind. law

SOUTH BEND (AP) — A St. Joseph County program that allows some drunken drivers to avoid a conviction by using a device that prevents their car from starting if they have alcohol on their breath has been suspended after a judge said it may violate state law.

The South Bend Tribune reported Tuesday the delayed sentencing program allows first-time offenders to avoid a conviction for drunken driving if they plead guilty and use an ignition interlock device for six months. Those who complete the program successfully still face a conviction for reckless driving.

St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Roland Chamblee Jr. said state law requires offenders in ignition interlock programs to use the devices for at least two years.

He asked other judges to stop accepting the six-month agreements in October.


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