'What Would You Do?': Breathalyzer Ignition Lock

Photo: What Would You Do?: Breathalyzer Ignition Lock: Woman Says Shes Been Drinking, Asks Strangers to Blow Into Breathalyzer to Help Start Car

In the popular 2005 movie "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," actor Steve Carrell gets into a car with an inebriated Leslie Mann, who asks him to blow into a device attached to the ignition. Carrell casually asks Mann what it is.

"The judge recommended I get one," she tells him.

The pair then drives off, the car swerving all over the road.

The scenario is funny on the big screen, perhaps, but it can be deadly in real life. Every 42 minutes, an American is killed in a drunken driving related crash.

Car Breathalyzers, also known as ignition interlock devices, have become a weapon in the war against drunken driving. The device requires the driver to provide a breath sample. If alcohol is detected, the car will not start.

Watch the full story tonight on "What Would You Do?" at 10 p.m. ET

But some drunken drivers foil the safeguard, getting a sober passenger -- or passerby or even a child -- to blow into the device and start the car.

But would anyone actually do such a reckless favor?

ABC's "What Would You Do?" went to bustling Stamford, Conn., to find out. Armed with hidden cameras and a car rigged with a mock ignition interlock device, we cast actress Ashley Carpenter to play a driver who had been drinking trying to get her car started.

We asked Carpenter to solicit the help of unsuspecting passersby to blow into her Breathalyzer.

Over the course of our two-day experiment, many people stared in disbelief and refused our tipsy driver's request. "Technically, I could get in big trouble for this," said one. Others expressed worry for Carpenter -- pleading with her not to drink and drive.

But we didn't have to wait long for someone to succumb to Carpenter's charms.

What would you do when you're thrust into real-life ethical scenarios? Take the Quiz!

'You Owe Me Big Time'

When a group of men out for a business lunch approached, Carpenter called over to them, "Hey can I ask you a question?" One man in the group walked over to the car. Carpenter told him, "I have this thing in my car... well, I'm just going to be honest with you, it's a Breathalyzer thing, and I had one drink at that restaurant over there. Do you think maybe you could just breathe into this?"

Suspicious, the man asked Carpenter if she was an undercover cop. When she said no, the man leaned down and blew into her Breathalyzer -- starting her car. As she prepared to drive off, the man turned back and said, "You owe me big time."

So what would happen if the person asking the deadly favor were not a college-age-looking blonde? Would that make a difference?

We instructed actress Traci Hovel to solicit help the same way, asking people to breathe into her Breathalyzer so she could get on the road.

'You Just Drank!'

Chi-Chi Ogbenta, a student at a nearby college, was walking down the street talking on the phone when Hovel flagged him down. "Can you help me please?" she pleaded. Ogbenta refused, telling her adamantly, "You just drank!"

When Hovel insisted she needed to get somewhere, Ogbenta offered to drive her there. That's when we decided to tell him it was all an experiment.

But what would happen when it's obvious that more than just the driver's life is at stake?

How will people react when they see an infant in the back seat of our car?

Watch the full story tonight on "What Would You Do?" at 10 p.m. ET

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