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California requires ignition devices for drunken drivers

Posted On Tue, October 13, 2009

A number of counties in California will act as pilot areas for a program involving ignition switches on cars of people convicted of drunk driving.

The new program was recently signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The law requires that ignition interlock devices, which can disable a car if they detect alcohol on a driver's breath.

The areas that will try the devices are Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties. Democratic Assemblyman Mike Feuer helped craft the law and said recently that it could help save lives.

"We have the technology that can help prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel after drinking, and we should be using it for first-time offenders," Feuer said.

Recently, an editorial from New York Newsday noted that legislators in the state have also considered requiring interlock ignition devices for people convicted of their first drunk driving charge. As it stands right now, only those convicted of drunk driving who had a blood alcohol content more than 0.18 are required to have the device in their car.

Reducing the number of deaths related to drunk driving could, in the long run help reduce costs for auto insurance quotes.

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