New law to put breath testing device in DUI offender’s vehicles
BIRMINGHAM, AL – A new Alabama law will make it difficult for individuals to get behind the wheel if they have had a DUI, including first-time offenders.
The ignition interlock device has been an option for DUI offenders since 2011, if a judge will permit it. It used to be for those individuals who had a BAC level of .15 percent at the time of arrest but the new law has decreased that level to .08 percent.
The ignition interlock device is installed in an offender’s vehicle and whenever they want to start the car, they have to give a breath sample to the device. If the BAC level is more than the set limit of 0.08 percent then it stops the engine from starting. This is an option offenders may have instead of having their driver’s license suspended but the driver has to pay for the device.
The new bill includes an indigent defense fund of $5,000 for those individuals who cannot pay for the equipment.
Every individual convicted of driving under the influence will pay $75 a month for the first 4 months after their conviction. This money will help build up the fund. Those individuals who require help will then be required to pay only 50% of the cost, said Rep. Allen Farley, who co-authored the bill. “But we’re going to give you an option: go to work. No, it’s not too much to ask of anyone, because drunk driving is 100 percent preventable. You chose to drink and drive and the legislature has said if you drink and drive, this is your consequence,” said Farley. He also said that other states such as Arizona, who have passed a similar measure, have seen a reduction in DUI related accidents by as much as 40 percent. He expects that Alabama can see the same results, if not better than those.
News Source: www.ABCNews.go.com