San Diego DUI Law Center

San Diego DUI lawyers note that California DUI bills advance; would mandate ignition interlocks in DUI cases With the end of the regular legislative session in California fast approaching, multiple measures nearing passage at the statehouse would mandate the use of ignition interlock devices for California DUI / drunken drivers.

One bill that has advanced to the Senate floor for consideration would require first-time offenders of the state’s California DUI drunk driving law to install ignition interlocks on their vehicles if they want to continue to drive. The Assembly already approved it.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, the legislation – AB2784 – would authorize that people have ignition interlocks installed on their vehicles to get back behind the wheel sooner if they were found guilty of California DUI – driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.

Interlocks are hooked up to the ignition of vehicles. Once such a device is installed, a driver must blow into a mouthpiece, which measures the amount of alcohol on a person’s breath. If the driver blows clean, the car will then start; if not, it won’t budge.

In addition, the California DUI devices often require drivers to re-blow in the machine after a designated period of time, to ensure that they have not convinced someone else to blow into the mouthpiece for them or that they haven’t been drinking since getting behind the wheel.

Advocates for stricter California DUI drunken driving rules cite statistics that show drivers who are convicted on driving while intoxicated usually have driven drunk 87 times before being caught.

There are 46 states that require the devices in some cases. In California, judges have authority to require use of the devices to allow offenders to drive to and from work or alcohol treatment.

Three more bills on the move also address drunken driving. The first measure – SB1361 – would require that offenders submit proof of installation of ignition interlocks in order to have their driving privileges reinstated.

The second bill – SB1388 – would require that certain offenders immediately install the devices on all owned vehicles for one to three years.

The rule would apply to those drivers who are convicted of driving a vehicle with a suspended or revoked license for drunken driving within the past 10 years.

One more bill – SB1190 – would lower the threshold for when judges can require interlock devices as punishment for drunken driving; the threshold would decrease from 0.20 percent to 0.15 percent.

The Assembly approved SB1190, SB1361 and SB1388. They have been sent back to the Senate for final authorization before moving to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk.

Arnold’s desk is loaded.

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