New Bill Would Require Ignition Devices to Deter Drunk Drivers

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sacramento-area mother Judy Utter has a personal reason for supporting the bill.  Her 18-year-old daughter was killed in an accident in 1990, when she was riding with a friend. 

 “He was speeding and intoxicated and hit a utility pole and she was killed in the crash…”

Lawmakers say ignition interlock devices will reduce the number of alcohol involved crashes.  They require a driver to blow into an installed breathalyzer.  If there is measurable alcohol, the car won’t start. Judges currently have some discretion to require the use of these devices.  Bill co-author Assemblyman Todd Spitzer says the time for that is over. 

 “We don’t want judges to be able to decide on a case by case basis who gets it and who doesn’t get it…”

The CHP says more than fifteen hundred people were killed in alcohol related crashes in California in 2005.