Saturday, June 6, 2009

California DUI license restriction goes bye-bye, say hello to breath test gadgets before you start your vehicle

Here's the scoop on the new California DUI IID law status - it has been approved by the California State Assembly Committee on a unanimous bipartisan vote of 77-0.

This new California drunk driving law creates a pilot project in three counties: LA, Sacramento & Alameda. The law requires the installation of ignition interlock devices (IID) on any vehicle owned or operated by an individual convicted of a California DUI.

This does away with a restricted license and modifies existing California DUI law. Instead, an IID is used. When installed, an IID links into a vehicle´s ignition system, and a driver blows into the device to start the vehicle. The vehicle will not start unless the driver´s alcohol level is below California's legal limit of .08 BAC.

Currently, the courts have the discretion, but are not mandated, to require the installation of an IID for first-time and repeat DUI offenders. Under this new program, an ignition interlock device installed on the offender´s vehicle replaces the restricted license. With an IID installed, an offender is allowed to drive anywhere, but cannot start his or her vehicle if the IID registers any alcohol on the driver´s breath.

California taxpayers will not pay the fees associated with the IID under
Assembly Bill 91 (Feuer). Instead, the California DUI offenders will be required to pay.

This pilot project would not start until July 1, 2010 and would extend to January 1, 2015. By July 1, 2014, DMV has to report to the Legislature on this project´s effectiveness in reducing first time and multiple conviction DUI offenses in California.