Breathalyzer Test Every Time You Drive

Monday, Jun 14, 2010  |  Updated 6:00 PM PDT
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Breathalyzer Test Every Time You Drive

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Staring in a couple weeks, people who live in Alameda County and have been convicted of drunken driving will have to test their breath for alcohol when they start their vehicles.

The pilot program that includes four counties in California kicks off July 1.

A bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last fall requires first-time DUI offenders to install dashboard Breathalyzer devices that would prevent their car engines from starting if alcohol is detected.

The law goes into effect next month also impacts people in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties. The Legislature is scheduled to evaluate the pilot program in 2015 and if it is successful, to expand the requirement statewide.

Some criminal defense lawyers and restaurant industry lobbyists fought the bill, saying the ignition lock technology should be reserved for repeat drunken drivers.

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