In addition to reducing the DUI impairment standard to 0.05%, the Assembly may also take aim at current interlock rules. Under a new law, repeat drunk driving offenders must use an ignition interlock device to retain their driving privileges. Now, one bill aims to require interlock device use for motorists convicted of driving with a blood-alcohol reading ≥ 0.08%. The new proposal would apply to all drivers, regardless of repeat convictions.
The proposals are part of the state’s renewed efforts to reduce drunk driving fatalities on California roads. The lowered impairment standard is modeled after legislation the State of Utah recently adopted. Several other states, including Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Washington will also consider reducing their standards. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended lowering the legal impairment standard for years. Additionally, more than 100 countries have also adopted the 0.05% impairment standard.
European countries reported a greater than 50% decrease in alcohol related driving fatalities when they lowered the impairment standard. The drop occurred within 10 years of redefining impairment.
Los Angeles DUI attorney
When you face charges for a DUI in LA, hire an experienced DUI attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, and takes impaired driving cases in Los Angeles County.
Currently, about two-thirds of drunk driving arrests in California today result in misdemeanor charges. Misdemeanor charges, however, can still produce serious consequences. In addition to facing jail time, fines and other sanctions, drivers may also lose their driving privileges. Repeat offenses now require a mandatory ignition interlock device if you intend to or need to drive.
Reducing the impairment threshold will result in an increase in the number of drunk driving arrests and convictions. If interlock restrictions pass, any person convicted of impaired driving must install an ignition interlock. Other impacts of a drunk driving conviction will include an increase in the cost of your insurance premiums. Some insurers won’t even write policies for convicted drivers.
In many cases, an aggressive, experienced attorney can help you address your arrest in a way that minimizes its impact on your life. Don’t attempt to represent yourself in court and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do about a drunk driving arrest.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County DUI case.
Photo Credit: Andreas Lederer, via Flickr.com