Alabama’s drunk-driving laws got stricter after Gov. Robert Bentley signed a bill that makes Alabama the final state in the nation to mandate the use of ignition interlock devices for those persons convicted of driving under the influence. The device goes on a car’s dashboard. In order to start a car, the driver must blow into a Breathalyzer. If the device detects an alcohol level greater than an established baseline, the car will not start. The interlock device may also require the driver to breathe at several points while driving, and logs failed tests without stopping the operation of the vehicle.
Under the new law, a first-time DUI offender in Alabama who injures someone, has a blood-alcohol level of .15 or greater, refuses to provide a blood alcohol content or has a child under 14 in the car would be required to have the ignition interlock device for two years after a 90-day suspension of their license.
A second conviction, regardless of the circumstances, would require the installation of the device for two years after restoration of the license. Third-time of-fenders would be required to drive with the devices for three years; subsequent offenses would require the devices be put in place for five years. Bills mandating ignition interlock devices had been introduced in the State Legislature for several years, but never made it to passage. MADD and a number of individuals in Alabama who have lost family members due to automobile accidents involving drunk drivers, never gave up and their efforts have paid off.
Source: Montgomery Advertiser
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