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California DUI charge -- ignition locking device legislation

California drivers who choose to drive while under the influence of alcohol may suffer various consequences. In addition to existing punishments, a California senator planned to propose legislation at the end of 2014 to further reduce injuries and deaths due to drunk driving on California roads. After some localized pilot programs that have been running successfully since 2010, the law would require courts to order those found guilty of a DUI charge to install devices in their motor vehicles that detects alcohol on a driver's breath.

Reportedly, drunk driving causes in excess of 1,000 deaths and about 20,000 injuries on California roads every year. Similar programs in other states are said to have resulted in a reduction of between 35 and 43 percent in DUI-related deaths. The new law would require first-time DUI drivers to use the device for five months while repeat offenders would be required to use it for as many as four years.

The device requires the driver to blow into it to provide a breath sample that is instantly analyzed. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle's ignition locks, preventing the driver from starting the car. If a driver passes the initial test, additional breath samples are required during the period of time that the vehicle is in operation. Reportedly, 33 percent of DUI-related convictions are comprised of repeat offenders. This legislation is designed to address that. 

California drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and facing a DUI charge are entitled to legal assistance, just like any other individual accused of a crime in our state. An experienced DUI attorney will analyze the charges against the accused driver and assess whether all procedures related to the arrest were carried out in the prescribed manner. If irregularities are found, the accused driver may have grounds to successfully challenge the charges. A dismissal of the charges, whether by motion or after trial, means that the driver will avoid having to install an ignition lock in his or her vehicle, along with other punishments that are commonly handed down by a criminal court. The attorney will use his or her experience to contest the evidence offered by prosecutors while working to the best possible outcome.

Source: autoworldnews.com, "California Considers Ignition-Lock Law To Curb DUI Deaths", Jordan Ecarma, Dec. 29, 2014

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