'What Would You Do?': Breathalyzer Ignition Lock

What would you do if a drunken woman asks you to start her car?

ByABC News
May 20, 2010, 11:41 AM

May 21, 2010— -- 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!