Ignition Interlock Bill Signed

The California legislature has spoken and Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that may require ignition interlock devices for those convicted of DUI into law.

Jerry Hill-D from San Mateo authored the bill that would expand a pilot program existing in four counties statewide. The legislation would require many accused of DUI to install ignition interlock devices which act as breathalyzers attached to their vehicle’s ignition. If they’ve been drinking – their car won’t start.

Governor Brown signed SB 1046 into law on Wednesday. It drew support from the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) but drew criticism from the American Beverage Institute.

Starting in 2019, a motorist convicted of DUI may be required to install the device, depending on how many prior convictions the driver has for the offense. First-time offenders who did not cause an injury have two choices. They can choose a six-month requirement of installing the device and still having full driving privileges. Or, they can choose not to install the device. However, their license will be restricted to-and-from work or school only and they have to participate in a treatment program.

Even for a first-time offender, if the DUI led to an injury, there is a requirement to install the device for six months. A second DUI necessitates the installation of the device for a year. A third offense requires two years and a fourth offense requires three years.

The devices will cost offenders between $60 and $80 per month for monitoring. That is after a $70 to $150 installation fee. The bill was amended to help low-income offenders be eligible to pay a reduced amount, either 10%, 20%, or 50%, depending on income.

The bill will go into effect on January 1, 2019, and will expire in 2026 unless the legislature expands or modifies it.

If you have been charged with DUI, you will need experienced legal representation on your side. Our attorneys specialize in the defense of DUI charges. Contact us today.

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