A Senator from California is looking to toughen up the laws for driving under the influence (DUI) offenders and has proposed a bill whereby an auto ignition lock installation by all lawbreakers would be mandatory.
People convicted of DUI would be compelled to install the auto ignition lock, which basically blocks the ignition from revving into action if the driver's breath suggests that the blood-alcohol level is problematic. The device would have to be installed for a period of six months for first-time offenders. Those convicted a second time will need to install the device for a year.
Sen. Jerry Hill intends to introduce the proposed law on Monday, Dec. 29, in Redwood City in a bid to curb the deaths owing to DUI.
"California needs to do a better job of reducing deaths and injuries from drunk drivers," notes a statement from Senator Hill. "Ignition interlocks save lives and can be an effective countermeasure to reduce DUI recidivism."
This initiative is already in place in four California states - Los Angeles, Tulare, Alameda and Sacramento - as part of a pilot program. The proposed bill by the Senator would expand the reach of the program.
Currently 24 states in the U.S. have laws in place that require drivers convicted of drunk driving to install the interlock ignition devices in their cars.
Nearly 1000 people die each year in California as a result of drunk driving and 20,000 people are injured because of the DUI motorists' recklessness.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the New York Thruway Authority have also teamed up to host a red ribbon campaign in New York till New Year's Eve in an anti-DWI drive.
Those in favor of the auto ignition lock initiative believe that the method brings down the number of DUI cases and is effective in saving lives. However, those who are not in favor of the proposal argue that the technology is a burden for offenders as it is costly.
An analysis of the bill has estimated the single-time cost of expanding the program at $570,000. The incurring costs are pegged at $200,000 per year, which will likely be covered by the DUI offenders' fees.