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New CA Driving Law

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Next week, select counties in California will be part of the pilot testing for California’s new ignition interlock law. Because of the amount of DUI arrests in the state, many CA drivers will be affected by this. Legal Brand Marketing has decided to interview a representative from Smart Start Ignition Interlock to answer some questions and get more information about the upcoming law.What is an interlock exactly?An ignition interlock is a device that is connected electronically to your car through your steering column. It looks sort of like a cellphone. It tests to see if the driver has alcohol in their system. If the device does detect alcohol, then the driver’s car won’t start.How does it work?First, you need to blow into the interlock. Using fuel cell technology, the device calculates your blood alcohol level. There’s also a computer chip in the interlock which records your numbers and sends them to the authorities so they can monitor a driver.Can people just get someone else to blow into it?No. First off, it is a misdemeanor if someone gets another person to blow in it. Secondly, many interlocks are becoming equipped with photo ID cameras to ensure the correct person is blowing into the interlock. I know Smart Start’s SSI-20/20 has one and I predict a camera will be equipped in most interlocks in the future.Can you explain the new CA law?Starting July 1, CA is requiring anyone convicted of DUI to have an ignition interlock. For first convictions, a person is required to have an interlock for six months. This law is initially being tested out in a few CA counties: Los Angeles, Sacramento, Tulare, and Alameda. After a few years, in 2015, the DMV will research to see how effective the law is and there’s a chance the rest of CA will have this law.How do most people feel about ignition interlocks?Well, I can tell you that ignition interlocks are not people’s favorite things. I mean, they’re getting these things because of a DUI conviction which is not something people want. Sure, it’s annoying to have to blow into it every time you start your car, plus interlocks require you to retest while you’re on the road. However, DUI laws are harsh and many people cannot drive at all because of their conviction. Therefore, those people can’t get to work or pick their kids up from school and, to me, that seems like a bigger hassle than having an ignition interlock.

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