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Luke Burbank

A ‘genius’ invention: Ignition-interlock system

Hungarian opposition party Egyutt (Together) distributes whistles and symbolic red cards meant to disrupt Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s speech at commemorations of Hungary’s 1956 anti-Soviet revolution in Budapest, Sunday Oct. 23, 2016. Polish President Andrzej Duda is a guest of the government’s memorial event, while opposition groups are protesting Orban’s autocratic tendencies. (AP Photo/Pablo Gorondi)

The driver who killed two people and critically injured a mother and her infant son should have been using an ignition-interlock device. He was ordered to do so by two different judges after two different DUI infractions were brought to court.

But he didn’t have one.

KIRO Radio host Luke Burbank was surprised there isn’t a way to enforce it. If Mark W. Mullen, 50, had been pulled over, he could have been cited for not driving with the device. He wasn’t pulled over; instead he’s charged with vehicular homicide.

“My assumption was, when the judge says to you, ‘you have to have an interlock device,’ that they took your car away until you had that device,” explains Luke.

He believes that if a judge has ordered it, the police should impound your vehicle and hold it for a fee until you’re able to install the device.

“People still have to get to their jobs, keep some semblance of their appointments. People have to keep living their life in some fashion – I understand that.”

According to The Seattle Times, however, if you say you’re not going to drive, you don’t have to get the ignition interlock system for your car.

For Luke, the technology is “genius.”

“I’m not against people who have a history of drunk driving to be able to try to get back on their feet by using vehicles.”

While the technology is great for physically preventing a drunk person from driving, Luke does understand the system is broken because installation relies on the honor system. And even if it is in a car, there are ways around it, like letting a passenger blow into the device.

About the Author

Alyssa Kleven

Alyssa Kleven is an editor and content producer at She enjoys doting over her adorable dachshund Winnie - named for Arcade Fire front-man Win Butler.


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