California may soon become yet another State that requires ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders.
An Ignition interlock device (IDD) is a machine that can be installed in your car, which will prevent your car from starting unless you pass the machine’s built-in breathalyzer test.
In most States, IDDs are reserved for repeat offenders, or for those whose blood alcohol level was substantially higher than the legal limit.
The California state assembly is currently considering a bill that would make these devices mandatory for all DUI convictions.
Lawmakers who support the bill argue that IDDs are the most effective way to prevent convicted drunk drivers from continuing to break the law, and that the bill would save a great deal of money and great many lives.
Assemblyman Todd Spitzer provided this forceful, albeit somewhat frightening analogy: "We have the ability to put a police officer in the front seat of every single car in California.”
Opponents of the bill, chief among with is the American Beverage Institute, argue that the bill is unfair, mandating the same punishment for offenses of different severity.
"You wouldn't punish someone driving five miles over the speed limit the same way would someone driving 25 miles over the speed limit and that's what we think this bill does," said Sarah Longwell from the American Beverage Institute.
There are currently four other States that require ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders: Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois, Louisiana.
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