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Ignition Interlock For LA Drunk Drivers. Is California Next?


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7/15/2010
James E. Ballidis
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Nationwide, driving under the influence remains one of the leading causes of motor vehicle related fatalities, with one death occurring every 45 minutes. More than $51 billion is spent annually on accidents resulting from impaired driving. Such high numbers have prompted legislators in Sacramento to mandate that first-time and repeat DUI offenders in Los Angeles County install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. Consisting of a tube to breath into and a machine to measure alcohol levels, both of which are connected to the ignition, the device will prevent the vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol.

The new law will increase the cost of receiving a DUI considerably: in addition to the average $2,500 in fines and court fees, DUI offenders must pay $125 for installation, a $60 monthly maintenance fee, and a $45 DMV administration fee.

With each DUI offense, the duration of time the device must be installed will increase: five months for first-time offenders, twelve months for second-time offenders, twenty-four months for third-time offenders, and 36 months for a fourth conviction.

While the program has initially been implemented in four counties—Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare—legislators will consider expanding statewide after a five-year evaluation. Could ignition lock devices improve safety on Orange County highways, especially over the perilous 4th of July weekend? Orange County CHP arrested fewer people this year for DUI over the holiday weekend, but the decrease was only slight. Last year, between 6p.m. on Friday and midnight on Monday, 57 people were arrested for DUI, a small fraction of the 1,239 arrests made statewide but still a statistic with potentially tragic implications. While no fatalities accompanied the reckless driving in Orange County, throughout the state, 24 people were killed, causing the 4th of July to be one of the most dangerous holidays in California.

It may be time to clamp down on drunk drivers in ourt county as well, noted James Ballidis a California injury lawyer in Orange County.  "It is simply not going to stop without more stiff penalties." If you have recently suffered injuries from an accident in which the negligent driver was intoxicated, you may want to consult with a reputable California Injury Lawyer. An experienced Orange County auto accident lawyer will protect your rights and advocate on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

James Ballidis is a California Injury Lawyer and the author of several books on automobile accidents and claims settlement rights. If you would like to request a copy of one of his books or have been injured in an accident and need legal advice, feel free to call us at 866-981-5596 or visit http://www.thecaliforniainjurylawyer.com/.

Category: Car Accidents


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