First-time DUI offenders in all of California may soon be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID). Lawmakers are looking to expand a pilot program that requires those convicted of DUI to install an IID on their vehicle in exchange for softer punishment. The program has had success in Los Angeles, Tulare, Alameda and Sacramento counties.
Senate Bill 1046, authorized by California State Senator Jerry Hill, looks to expand this program statewide. So what’s next for this potential law?
Ignition Interlock Devices for First-Time DUI
Assembly Bill 91 was passed in 2010, making the installation of IIDs a possible punishment for first-time DUI convictions in four California counties.1 The device requires the driver to breath into it before starting his or her vehicle, and it will not start if the driver is detected to be under the influence of alcohol.
Since the program launched in 2010, it has been linked to helping reduce re-offense rates for drunk driving.2 With this in mind and with the pilot program set to expire in 2016, California lawmakers turned their attention to expanding the program to the entire state of California.
What Happens Next?
Recently, the California Senate Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to approve SB 1046. While the bill still has some legislative hurdles to cross (including full floor votes in both the Senate and Assembly, as well as a signature from the governor), it looks to have a large amount of support and is expected to become law.
However, some worry about the potential costs of the program. Initial installation of the device generally costs about $100 and maintenance costs between $50 and $100 dollars a month. These costs are shouldered by those ordered to use the devices after a DUI conviction. Add this to the hefty fines associated with a DUI conviction, alcohol programs that those convicted of DUI must attend and increased insurance costs, and low income Californians who are convicted of DUI could find themselves in serious debt.
On top of this concern is the fact that the bill takes away judicial discretion in ordering the use of the device. Judges are often able to distinguish between a DUI offender who poses a serious threat to the safety of others and an offender who blew slightly above the legal limit. This law could be overly broad and unjust in some cases.
Call the DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
The consequences of DUI are extremely harsh. That is why you need to speak to an experienced DUI attorney if you are facing DUI charges. At Wallin & Klarich, we have been successfully defending our clients against DUI charges for over 30 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, West Covina and Victorville, an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney can help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will be there when you call.
1. http://smartstartofcalifornia.com/california-ignition-interlock-laws/ href=”#ref1″>↩
2. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/apr/01/madd-drunken-driving-sb1046/ href=”#ref2″>↩