California Senator Jerry Hill introduced a bill on December 29, 2014, requiring “Ignition Interlock” devices be used on cars of first time offenders of DUI. These “Ignition Interlock” devices require a driver to breath into it and will prevent a car from starting if the indicated blood alcohol level (“BAC”) is higher than the limit pre-set on the device. For persons with multiple DUIs, Senator Hill believes this device is key to helping reduce DUI-related fatalities and injuries.
Five Year Pilot Ignition Interlock Program
If Senator Hill’s bill passes, a five year pilot program will be mandated requiring Ignition Interlock devices be installed on DUI offenders’ vehicles. For a first time offense, the device will be installed for six months. For each subsequent DUI conviction, the time period for the required installation of the device will increase. While the device is installed and used, drivers would keep their licenses. Since currently the installation of the Ignition Interlock device is voluntary, Senator Hill said this is a major stumbling block with only 20% of DUI offenders opting for the device over driving with a restricted license. After a third DUI conviction, California laws permit a judge to suspend the person’s driver’s license for 10 years.
Current Ignition Interlock Program
The existing pilot program for Ignition Interlock devices began in 2010 but will expire in 2015. Currently the Ignition Interlock device for first time DUI offenders is required for five months. For repeat offenders it’s installed for as long as four years. The device requires the driver to breath into it in order for their car to start. As they drive, additional samples must be provided.
One-Third of DUI Convictions are Repeat Offenders
Even though first time DUI offenders make up the majority of convictions, multiple DUI offenders make up one-third of all convictions. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that multiple DUI offenders are involved in fatal crashes eight times more often than drivers who have not been drinking. Studies have shown that laws requiring the use of Ignition Interlock devices are successful. According to Senator Hill’s office, the use of these devices in Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, and Louisiana have reduced DUI-related deaths by 35-43 percent.
If you have been arrested for DUI, contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.
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