DUI Arrest After Bartender Accused of Circumventing Device

By: Robert Borrelli
By: Robert Borrelli

A Michigan City woman is in jail, after a head-on crash Tuesday night.

Thirty-three-year-old Hope Horn has been charged with drunk driving.

She's accused of having someone else blow into a court ordered device installed to stop her from driving drunk.

The device is referred-to as an Ignition Interlock.

It's basically a portable breathalyzer that won't allow you to start your car if it detects you've been drinking.

Police say she was driving too fast when she hit another car at Woodlawn and Hitchcock Tuesday night.

The other driver had to be pulled from her car by firefighters.

Horn suffered head injuries.

Police found an open container of alcohol in her car and her blood alcohol level was at .25, which is more than three times the legal limit.

Convicted of drunk driving back in November, a judge ordered a Smart Start device installed in her car.

Dean Maravolo is the state director of Smart Start, a company that installs and oversees the court ordered devices. "If we can get this device on their car, they're 65-percent less likely to re-offend," he says.

If the device had registered alcohol, the car would not be allowed to start.

But how can cheating the system, like Hope Horn is accused of, be stopped?

The current Smart Start device requires a "blow and hum" technique.

Maravolo explains, “This is to prevent the person from using air tanks or balloons from starting their car.”

However, a soon-to-be released newer version of the device actually takes a picture of whoever is trying to start the vehicle as they are blowing.

Each offender has to show-up once a month to have data downloaded from their car, for the courts to double-check their compliance.

Court officials say a warrant has been issued for the arrest of the bartender accused of blowing into Horn's Ignition Interlock device, allowing the car to be started.

Horn is being held in the LaPorte County Jail. Her bond will be set in two weeks.

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