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Proposal Would Require Ignition Interlock Device for Convicted Drunk Drivers

Drunk driving has long been a scourge throughout the Inland Empire. As an attorney for victims, Brian Brandt has seen first-hand the devastating consequences of driving while intoxicated. He has represented families who have grieved the loss of loved ones. He's fought for people who have been seriously injured in accidents caused by drivers who made the reckless choice to drink and then get behind the wheel. These are senseless tragedies.

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That's why Brian believes strongly in taking aggressive measures to stop drunk drivers. A proposed ignition interlock device law is one such measure that's gaining traction among lawmakers. Since 2010, four pilot counties in the state have required anyone convicted of drunk driving to install the device. In April 2016, a state Senate committee approved a bill that would expand the program to San Bernardino County and all of California. All convicted drunk drivers would be forced to equip their vehicles with an ignition interlock.

If the bill becomes law, the convicted drunk driver will have to blow into the breathalyzer-like device, which will be wired into the vehicle's ignition. The car will not start if any alcohol is detected. California would join 25 other states that have similar laws on the books, according to KPBS.org.

The news article cites an alarming fact: Most offenders have driven while impaired more than 80 times before their first arrest. Drunk drivers might think they can get away with it, even if they have a conviction. The ignition interlock device would stop them from driving their car.

How Drunk Driving Puts Others at Risk

At The Law Offices of Brian Brandt, we are very familiar with the dangerous behavior of impaired drivers. Drinking alcohol can affect critical driving skills. Intoxicated drivers have reduced reaction times. They don't concentrate as well as sober drivers. They may fall asleep at the wheel, or they may feel overconfident and take dangerous risks. They may ignore stop signs or traffic signals or drive too fast. They may weave and put pedestrians at risk.

Too much is at stake to get behind the wheel after drinking. Responsible Californians know this and make the wise choice not to drink if they intend to drive. They understand that they may need to have a designated driver or call a cab if they need to get someplace after drinking.

In a perfect world, everyone would make these sensible choices. There would be no need for measures such as the ignition interlock device law. But studies show that such devices are necessary to prevent drunk driving. A recent report from Mothers Against Drunk Driving reveals that ignition interlocks have prevented more than 124,000 would-be drunk drivers from starting their cars in California, according to The San Diego Tribune. States with ignition interlock laws have seen a 15 percent reduction in drunk driving fatalities, according to a University of Pennsylvania study.

When they cause accidents, drunk drivers tear apart families. In California, more than one-third of drivers arrested for DUI are repeat offenders, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Attorney Brian Brandt knows we need to get these dangerous motorists off the road, and the proposed ignition interlock device law will keep the drunk driver from being a repeat offender.

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