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Convicted DUI Drivers in California to get Ignition Interlock Devices Statewide in 2019

Senate Bill 1046. Driving Under the Influence: Ignition Interlock Device.

You may not be able take the keys away from a drunken driver, but now their stinky beer breath could be enough to prevent them from starting it.

Beginning in 2019, people who are convicted of drunk driving in California, may be required to breathe into a device wired to a vehicle’s ignition that will detect alcohol and prevent the engine from starting. It’s called the Ignition Interlock Device and it’s job is to do what police officers and public outcry have not been able to do, stop drunk driving.

Currently, this is a already a reality for convicted DUI drivers in four counties — Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento and Tulare. However, under Senate Bill 1046, Hill, the pilot program will extend to Jan. 1, 2019 in these counties and ignition interlocks will be used statewide at that time. After it goes statewide, the law will be in effect through January 1, 2026

The new law permits drivers convicted of drunk driving to get a restricted driver’s license, get a license reissued or their driving privileges reinstated, but only if they install this device in their vehicle for a certain period of time.

Do Ignition Interlock Devices Save Lives?

Critics of the ignition interlock devices say these devices are not going to stop all drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel. For instance, the drunken driver can still drive someone else’s vehicle, they may own multiple vehicles or possibly remove the device or disable it.

There is also issues involved such as loss of privacy. The driver is visible as they blow into the attachment prior to starting the car. Some have claimed there are glitches such as false positives. Some say education and rehabilitation programs are a better way to handle offenders and protect the public.

The ignition interlock device is nothing new. All 50 states have used them in some capacity since 1993, according to CNN.

Indeed, where there are mandatory laws requiring these devices on every person convicted of a DUI there was a 7 percent drop in the number of fatal DUI crashes, a study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found. The study showed that roughly 1,250 fatal crashes were prevented in those states with mandatory interlock laws between 1982 and 2013. In states where there was a partial law in place, there was a 2 percent drop in fatalities involving DUI drivers.

“When you consider there are 10,000 people killed in DUI crashes every year in the United States, even 700 lives matter,” Attorney James Johnson. “The downside is, these devices do not detect drugs used by drivers and drugged driving is also a big problem in this country.”

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there are 28 states and the District of Columbia that require all DUI offenders to use these devices. Some states have enacted laws that only apply to repeat offenders or other subsets. The expansion of the use of interlock devices was welcome news to MADD as they non-profit has fought for many years to expand the use of these to all 50 states.

The Cost of Interlock Devices

Who pays for these ignition interlock devices? The offender may or may not pay an installation or removal fee up to $175. Some companies offer deals as low as $55 for the first month with no installation fees. There is usually also a daily rate of about $2.25 a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Help for Families

The staff at Johnson Attorneys Group provides individuals and families with legal support at the worst possible time in their lives. We understand that a serious traffic accident can cause horrible pain and suffering as well as financial distress. When you are ready to move forward with a claim, our compassionate attorneys are here to help you obtain full compensation for all your losses. We advise you there are time limits to filing a claim and you should wait before you speak to the negligent party’s insurance company until after you have spoken to an attorney. Johnson Attorneys Group offers a free consultation at 800-235-6801. We also work on a contingency-fee basis so you will pay nothing unless a settlement is obtained.

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