I-Team: Repeat Drunk Drivers Bypassing Interlock Device

By Kathy Curran, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – He’s a repeat drunk driver who’s allowed to get behind the wheel as long as he passes this test.

Geoff Draper has to blow into an interlock device which checks for alcohol every time he turns the key.

But the I-Team followed Draper for months and discovered him breaking the law again and again.

Yarmouth Deputy Police Chief Steve Xiarhos said, “The problem is we’re trusting someone who’s broken the law many, many times to follow the law.”

The interlock device is only registered to Draper’s work truck.

That means that’s the only car he’s supposed to be driving and it will only start if he blows into the interlock and he’s alcohol-free.

From what the I-Team witnessed it appears the interlock device was removed or tampered with.

Our cameras caught this convicted drunk driver starting the truck without blowing into any device.

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports

Draper also hopped into a Chevy Tahoe that the Registry of Motor Vehicles doesn’t even know about because it’s registered in his parents’ name. When he’s in this car there’s no way to check if he’s been drinking.

Registrar Rachel Kaprielian said Draper is in clear violation.

“This is not supposed to happen when you have an interlock device. It’s disheartening because the idea of the program is to have people complete it successfully so they can be good and safe drivers. If that’s not he case there are consequences,” she told WBZ-TV.

The I-Team caught up to Draper.

“We just want to ask you some questions. ¬†Why are you driving a car registered to your mother? You have a 31-page driving record, several OUI’s, why aren’t you using the interlock? Don’t you think it would be safer for you and everyone else?

No response.

Xiarhos calls Draper a very big threat on the road.

He points to his 31-page driving record which includes multiple suspensions, revocations and OUI’s.

He says police received a complaint similar to what the I-Team found in our investigation.

According to Xiarhos, the allegation is that in the past he’s used alcohol and driven and misused the device, altered it and he would drive a different vehicle, so the system isn’t fool-proof.

Hingham police say Daniel Brunke also got around the system but was eventually caught.

He’s charged with his 5th OUI and dismantling his interlock device.

According to court records, Geoff Draper was issued an interlock device when he was arrested for being drunk behind the wheel for a 4th time in 2007 after a terrible crash.

The I-Team poured through Draper’s records and found alcohol was detected several times, even early in the morning.

We also discovered Draper hadn’t brought his interlock in to be checked for violations for eight months straight, even though it’s required every 30 days.

The Registry didn’t even know it. Kaprielian says the vendor, SmartStart, dropped the ball and didn’t comply with reporting requirements.

Because of what the I-Team discovered, SmartStart now generates a monthly report flagging these types of violations that will be sent to the Registry.

The Registry recently suspended Draper’s license indefinitely pending a hearing on the interlock violation.

Tampering with an interlock carries a 6-month to 5-year sentence.

The Registrar told us, overall, 98-percent of the people in the interlock program have been successful.

Mr. Draper was eligible to have his interlock removed in December of 2010 if he had no violations, but he failed to have it checked for the last 5 months of his sentence.


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