There is a new law that is being proposed in California regarding DUI offenders. This law will make it so all people who are convicted of a DUI in California will be forced to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle. These devices check the breath of the driver for presence of alcohol before they will allow for the vehicle to be started. When you get behind the wheel, you will have to blow into the device in order to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Currently, 20 states have this law in place. One-third of all DUI convictions are repeat offenders and it is believed that IIDs will help reduce that number. Many California DUI offenders do not believe that first time DUI offenders should be stigmatized with these devices that currently are only used by habitual DUI violators. While no one can argue that stopping drunk drivers is not a good thing, an IID device does not stop a DUI offender from driving other vehicles.
Right now California is trying out the ignition interlock devices with by implementing a pilot program. Several counties in the state are currently enrolled in this program that requires all DUI offenders, regardless of criminal record, in these counties to be sentenced to the use of an ignition interlock device in order to get their license reinstated. Offenders must install these devices in their vehicles and drive only in IID installed cars.
Lawmakers plan on tracking the success of this pilot program to decide whether they will impose these laws statewide. Los Angeles is one of the counties participating. L.A. County is the largest county in California and the biggest producer of DUI convictions. It will be interesting to see the future of this program and what the results of this technology will be.