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Pilot program to make DUI offenders take breath tests before driving

Motorists convicted of drunk driving will have to test their breath for alcohol before they start their vehicles under a pilot program set to begin in July in Los Angeles County and three other California counties.

DUI offenders convicted after July 1 will be required to install an ignition-interlock device that would prevent vehicles from starting if traces of alcohol are detected after drivers blow into a tube connected to the machine.  The program also goes into effect in Alameda, Sacramento and Tulare counties and runs through 2016.

Under the program, a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.03 or less will be required to start the car. The legal limit in California is 0.08.

The breath test would create additional monitoring of DUI offenders at no cost to taxpayers, said Arianna Smith, a spokeswoman for Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), who sponsored the bill that created the program

Smith estimated that the cost to drivers would be $75 to install the device and about $50 a month to monitor their activity. Low-income offenders would pay less, according to Smith.

First-time offenders would have to use the device for five months. A second offense would require the driver to use the device for a year. 

Smith said New Mexico and other states have had success with similar programs.

-- Robert J. Lopez
 
Comments () | Archives (5)

What's to prevent someone else from blowing into the device? Also, what sort of "monitoring" is required that would cost $50 a month?

'Smith estimated that the cost to drivers would be $75 to install the device and about $50 a month to monitor their activity. Low-income offenders would pay less, according to Smith."

What the hell? Low income offenders pay less? Maybe low income folks should be extra careful not to drive drunk so they don't have to pay the costs associated with the carnage they create on the road!! Let me guess, illegal aliens won't have to pay anything?

Don't do the crime if you can't pay the fine!

What's to prevent someone else from blowing into the device?

Darwin

Hey Darwin -

Some devices have a cameras to ensure that a driver doesn't get someone else to blow in it. Also, getting someone else to blow in it is a felony offense.

The $50 a month seems a touch annoying, but the simple fix is to not get a DUI in the first place.


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