Drunk driving offenders in California will be required to install an ignition interlock on their vehicles that connects to a breathalyzer under Senate Bill 1046 signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday, September 28, 2016.
The law will take effect on January 1, 2019, is designed to prevent DUI offenders from being able to start their cars if they blow over 0.03 blood alcohol content. The legal limit is 0.08.
The bill will require or allow use of ignition interlock devices in several circumstances:
- For a first DUI offense involving an injury, an ignition interlock device would be required for six months
- For first non-injury DUI offense, an offender may choose to have an ignition interlock device for six months with full driving privileges, or a one-year restricted license that only allows driving to work, alongside a treatment program;
- For a second DUI offense DUI offense, an ignition interlock device would be required for a year
- For a third DUI, an ignition interlock device would be required for two years and
- For fourth and subsequent DUI, ignition interlock device would be required for three years.
The cost for an ignition interlock device is about $60 to $80 per month, with an installation fee of $70 to $150. The bill includes a program to help low-income offenders as well.
A DMV report issued in June found that for:
- First offenders: ignition interlock devices are 74 percent more effective than license suspension in preventing repeat offenses.
- Second offenders: ignition interlock devices are 70 percent more effective than license suspension in preventing repeat offenses.
- Third and subsequent offenders: Pilot program ignition interlock devices drivers have a significantly lower odds or hazards of a subsequent DUI conviction and DUI incidents.