One of the penalties for being convicted of a DUI can be the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. These devices require a driver to blow into a tube and will only allow the car to start if their blood alcohol content is below the legal level. Currently, only four California counties require the installation of this device once convicted of DUI, but that may change.
A bill passed in the California Senate on Tuesday, May 31 that will require all drunk driving offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. The bill will now make its way to the Assembly for consideration.
At the moment, only Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare and Sacramento counties require the installation of the devices as part of a pilot program.
Depending on the severity of the violation, a driver may have to have the device installed on the vehicle for a year or more.
SB 1046 was approved by Senator Jeremy Hill and was approved unanimously by the rest of the senate.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) offered praise for Senator Hill for approving the bill and sending it to the Assembly.
In the coming weeks, MADD plans to be contacting Assembly members and actively lobbying for the quick passage of the bill.
In February, MADD released its first-ever report on the success of the ignition interlock devices. According to the report, interlock devices have prevented more than 1 million attempts to drive drunk. Of those, 125,000 were attempts to drive with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or higher. A blood-alcohol content of .08 is the legal definition of alcohol impairment in all fifty states.
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