California Law Aimed To Lock Out Drunk Drivers

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – In 2004, 33-years-old Jada Benge died due to a person who was driving under the influence of alcohol. She was a mother of 3 and her husband also sustained injuries when a drunk driver struck her motor vehicle.

Her husband, Michael Benge said, “The pain is still there. My girls were 8, 9 and 12 at the time when they watched their mother die. They watched me scream her name and try to get a reaction”.

Benge is supporting a proposed law, SB 1046, that will make the installation of an ignition interlock device mandatory for all drunken driving offenders. The device prevents the engine from starting if the breath sample given by the driver shows a BAC level higher than the set limit which is 0.08%.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo and is still making its way through the legislative process.

In California, Los Angeles, Tulare, Sacramento, and Alameda, installation of the device was made mandatory for DUI offenders in 2010.

According to MADD, it has proven great for coping with DUI accidents and fatalities. It helps in keeping drunk drivers off the road.

Aaron Wade, MADD California Program Manager said, “Over 1 million times just in those four county pilots that somebody who is already a convicted DUI offender has tried to blow into the ignition airlock and has physically stopped them from drinking and driving because they have some sort of impairment”.

At least 25 states have similar laws that mandate the installation of an interlock ignition device for DUI offenders to avoid repeat offenses. Installation of an IID assists in reducing the accident and death rate related to driving under the influence.

Wade added, “If Texas can pass this ignition interlock law, there’s no reason why California can’t”.

News Source: www.BakersfieldNow.com

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