New Ignition Interlock Bill to Affect All California DUI Offenders

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Ignition Interlock Device

Redwood City – In an effort prevent repeat drunk driving offenders, state Sen. Jerry Hill is introducing legislation that will require convicted California DUI offenders to install a vehicle ignition interlock device. The law will affect first-time and repeat offenders, and will expand on pilot programs already in place in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties.

The pilot program requires vehicle ignition interlocks for five months for first-time DUI offenders and up to four years for repeat DUI offenders. Ignition interlock devices makes a driver first submit a breath sample before starting their car, then provide additional samples once they’re driving.

It is expected to be unveiled at a news conference on Monday in Redwood City accompanied by representatives from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and San Mateo and Santa Clara county law enforcement. “We believe it’s a better approach than license suspension alone,” according to the MADD’s director of state govermental affairs, Frank Harris, who believes existing DUI alcohol programs are not sufficient. “It makes that offender prove his sobriety anytime he drives on California roads.”

According to advocates ignition interlock laws have proven successful in Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oregon where DUI-related deaths have dropped by 35-43 percent.