Wednesday, May 14, 2008

California DUI ignition interlock bill status

California DUI attorney news

May 14, 2008

California bill would mandate ignition interlocks for California DUI drunk drivers A bill in the California Assembly would require California DUI first-time offenders of the state’s drunken driving law to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles if they want to continue to drive, California DUI attorneys report.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, the California DUI legislation would mandate that people found guilty of driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle for five months, California DUI lawyers are told.

Interlocks are hooked up to the ignition of vehicles. Once such a device is installed, a driver must blow into a mouthpiece, which measures the amount of alcohol on a person’s breath. If the driver blows clean, the car will then start; if not, it won’t budge per California DUI attorneys.

In addition, the devices often require drivers to re-blow in the machine after a designated period of time, to ensure that they have not convinced someone else to blow into the mouthpiece for them, or that they haven’t been drinking since getting behind the wheel, according to California DUI attorney sources.

Advocates for stricter drunken driving rules cite statistics that show drivers convicted of driving while intoxicated usually have driven drunk 87 times before being caught, California DUI attorneys hear.

There are 46 states that require the devices in some cases. In California, judges have authority to require use of the devices to allow offenders to drive to and from work or alcohol treatment, per California DUI lawyer sources.

The Assembly Public Safety Committee voted 6-1 to advance the California DUI bill – AB2784 – to the Appropriations Committee.