The California State Assembly is considering a new bill, AB2784, which would force California judges to impose a sentencing requirement given hard-core offenders: ignition interlocks.
Ignition interlocks are breathalyzers placed in the vehicle that measure a driver's blood alcohol concentration. If a breath sample registers above a pre-set level, the engine will not start. These devices were originally developed for chronic drunk drivers with high alcohol levels.
Proponents of the bill claim the measure will fight the drunk-driving problem by keeping dangerous drivers off the road. However, mandating interlocks for first offenders doesn't focus on those dangerous criminals.
Other states are lobbying for mandatory interlocks in every car in the state. Indeed, some car manufacturers are developing new interlock technology that could be manufactured as standard equipment. The federal government has approved a $10 million grant to promote development of this technology.As the popularity of punishing DUI offenders grows, the California Assembly is simply following the rest of the country. In doing so, the rights of every driver are at risk.
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