By Santiago Castillo |Staff Writer|
Thinking about drinking and driving, think again.
The average cost of a DUI in California is more than $10,000, according to onedui.com.
LA County, Sacramento County, Alameda County and Tulare County are part of a pilot program that makes people who get convicted of a DUI install an ignition interlock device (IID), which is a breathalyzer that prevents someone from starting their car if they failed to pass the blood alcohol level requirements.
Assembly Bill No. 91 put this program in law and will be held in place until Jan. 1, 2016.
“I have not heard of that happening, from my understanding for a first DUI they usually don’t have to get an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) it usually is for people with multiple DUI’s, and they could only be installed if ordered by a court,” said Equino Thomas, a San Bernardino County officer.
The Los Angeles Times explained that if the program were to be installed in San Bernardino County, it could have prevented the tragedy that happened in Chino on Feb. 9, 2014 when a drunk woman previously convicted with a DUI killed six people.
“The 21-year-old woman who authorities say was drunk when she drove the wrong way on the 60 Freeway, killing six people, had been previously convicted of driving under the influence,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Rental for an ignition interlock is typically between $100 – $140 a month plus tax.
There is also an installation fee, typically around $200, according to totaldui.com.
Drivers will be responsible for paying for the installation and monthly usage fees, which may cost you hundreds of dollars, according to totaldui.com
The purpose of this project is to decrease the number of drunk drivers in the streets.
“The device will serve as a significant deterrent to those already convicted for DUI from driving under the influence again,” said criminal justice professor Brian Levin.
Levin added, “While there may very well be added costs related to implementing the program it is believed that these costs will be outweighed from the prevention of additional dangerous accidents.”
Law enforcement agencies arrested 2,268 people on suspicion of driving under the influence this holiday season in Los Angeles County. This number is up 100 from a year ago, according to duicentral.com
“I can’t say that people would be more discouraged to drink and drive but it is another obstacle they have to get around if they are determined to get behind the wheel intoxicated,” said student Samantha Harper-Torres.
Harper-Torres continued, “I am all for whatever it takes to keep drunk drivers from killing themselves or anyone else. People can’t put a price on the safety and lives of others. This project is 130 percent necessary.”
Other students agreed that the law was a good way to discourage drinking and driving.
“I agree with extra penalties. Drivers will be discouraged to drink and drive. I also believe it’s necessary to decrease crime rate and lessen DUI convictions in this city,” said student Jessica Williams.
“I think this project will be beyond helpful by benefiting the lives of innocent people and repeat offenders,” continued Williams.