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OC Register - Sacramento Snapshot: First-time DUI offenders in OC would have to install breathalyzers on cars, bill says

Orange County, CA (May 13, 2024) - Orange County drivers convicted of a DUI would need to install a breathalyzer on their car if legislation passes in Sacramento this year.

California can already require people convicted multiple times of driving under the influence to install what’s called an ignition interlock device, which requires a breath sample before a car engine can be started. If it detects alcohol, then the car will not start.

But Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris, D-Irvine, wants to ensure even more drivers are prevented from driving under the influence. Her legislation would extend the sunset on the statewide program and create a new pilot program for just five counties, including Orange County, requiring certain first-time offenders to install a breathalyzer in their cars for six months.

“That’s really in recognition of the fact that one-third of drunk driving arrests are repeat offenders,” said Petrie-Norris.

Aside from Orange, the program for first-time DUI offenders would also cover Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego and Sacramento counties.

“To me, this is a common-sense measure. We know that it will save lives,” Petrie-Norris said.