“It makes no sense … that you can have eight or nine DUIs and you can still get a valid driver’s license. It’s time to do something about that.” Those were the words of Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) who would like to see better legislation to prevent drunk driving and the car accidents caused by it.
He has introduced a bill that would sharpen the penalties for those convicted of a second or subsequent DUI as follows:
- Second DUI: One-year installation of IID
- Third DUI: Two-year installation of IID
- Fourth or subsequent DUI: Three-year installation of IID
In addition, a DUI offender would have to comply with IID calibrations before his or her driving privileges would be reinstated.
Sen. Hill is not the first lawmaker to recommend IID requirements, nor is California the first state to consider stricter IID requirements for multiple DUI offenses. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board recently requested that there be nationwide legislation requiring IIDs for first-time defendants, not just repeat offenders. Four counties in California, including Los Angeles County and Sacramento County, are piloting IIDs for first-time offenders.
Yet, the current law stands that judges do not have to impose ignition interlock devices for repeat offenders and an offender may instead choose a restricted license. Approximately 80 percent choose the restricted license over the IID.
As you can see, the penalties for drunk driving are simply not enough. They have not done enough to deter drivers from making terrible choices. While an injured person or a family can bring a personal injury lawsuit to hold a driver financially responsible, it should never come to that. These accidents should never happen.