Beginning on Thursday, DUI offenders in Los Angeles County will have to install ignition-locking breathlyzers in their cars. If the breathlyzer detects alcohol in their breath, the car will not start.
The law starts on an experimental basis for five years in Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento and Tulare.
According to the Associated Press, drivers need to blow into a breathing tube, a device connected to the ignition that measures alcohol content before starting the vehicle. They also must periodically stop to retake the test while they are traveling. The device keeps track of failed tests.
It costs roughly $125 to install the device and $60 monthly for maintainance. Low-income convicts, however, are offered a subsidized breathlyzers through a special program. The DMV also will collect a one-time $45 administration fee.
According to the report, first-time offenders will be required to have the devices installed for five months. A second DUI extends the requirement to 12 months, a third offense to 24 months and a fourth conviction to 36 months. The time periods double if the offense results in an injury.
“The interlock device lets them go to work, go to school, go anywhere they want to go. It just requires them to go sober,” J.T. Griffin, vice president of public policy for Mothers Against Drunk Driving said.