On Sept. 28, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1046 into law. The legislation would require most drivers in California who have been convicted of a DUI to have a device similar to a Breathalyzer installed in their vehicles. It continues a pilot program ongoing in four counties that has prevented 125,000 attempts by drivers to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher.
The legislation goes into effect throughout the state on New Year's Day 2019. Those who have been convicted of a first-offense DUI causing injury must have the device in their cars for six months. A first offense that does not involve injury may also require a driver to install the device for six months to retain full driving privileges. Alternatively, he or she may drive on a restricted license for a year while also taking part in a treatment program.
Drivers convicted of a second DUI would be required to have the device installed in their cars for a year. The penalty would then increase to two years for a third DUI and three years for a fourth or any future DUI. Each device costs up to $150 to install with a monthly fee of up to $80 to use it. Financial assistance is provided for low-income drivers.
Those who are convicted of a DUI may face jail time or a license suspension. They may also face personal and professional consequences merely by being charged with driving while impaired. Therefore, it may be a good idea to talk to an attorney who may create a defense against the charge. One possible challenge could be to the initial stop itself as being made without reasonable suspicion.