Ignition Devices Could Stop Repeat DUI Offenders

California will begin testing a requirement that drivers convicted of DUI install a device in their vehicle that stops the car from starting if alcohol is detected on the driver. The driver’s breath gives him away. A breathalyzer will be installed in the car for five months under the law. Any detection of alcohol and the interlock device will keep the car from starting, even a small amount of alcohol. This is a six-year test pilot project.

A similar law went into effect in Florida in 2003, mandating that some drunken drivers have the ignition interlock device installed in their car.

Florida’s legal intoxication blood-alcohol level is 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more per 210 liters of breath.

Repeat DUI offenders and first-time offenders with a BAC over .15 would have to install the devices. The law would also apply to those who drove under the influence with a child in the car.

The law states that the lock will be installed for six months for first offenders and the lock will not allow the car to start unless the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is under 0.05.

With a second conviction, the driver must have an ignition interlock device operated or owned by the convicted person. A third conviction and they get a mandatory placement for a period of not less than two years. A third violation can bring you up to 12 months in jail and the mandatory placement for at least two years. Fines go up from there.

The law also states that for a third or subsequent violation, the offender must complete a DUI treatment course.

If you are pulled over and you do not have an approved interlock device, you will be subject to arrest for violating your driver’s license restriction.

The problem comes when anyone breathes into the interlock device. And if the driver fails a BAC test or fails to provide a breath sample, the device will issue a warning alarm and record the event into a computer log. The device may even honk the horn until the ignition is turned off. Under no circumstance does it shut down, just to draw attention to the car.

Unfortunately not everyone complies with this law, which is why we have so many repeat offenders still on the roads in Florida.

Florida joins five other states in 2008 – Virginia, West Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire and Kansas with similar laws, and now California. And seven states require interlocks for all DUI convictions.

Driving is considered a privilege not a right and when you are convicted of a DUI you are losing that privilege.

Source articles: http://www.wptv.com/content/news/topstories/story/Ignition-devices-for-DUI-drivers/e79q4sIkAEGAasV37DGIcw.cspx; http://www.sacbee.com/trafficnews/story/2249268.html; http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0316/SEC193.HTM; http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0316/Sec1938.HTM