Drunk drivers convicted in Alabama face new penalty

There's no question that drunk driving is dangerous. Each year thousands of lives are lost in car accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol. In an effort to curb Alabama drivers from driving drunk, the state recently passed a law requiring some sort of ignition interlock device for drivers convicted of drunk driving.

The law went into effect on Sept. 1, and makes Alabama the 50th state to enact a law related to the mandatory use of ignition interlock devices. Under the new law, any driver found to have a blood alcohol content level of 0.15 or higher will be required to install an interlock device in their motor vehicle.

Those facing first and second DUI convictions whose blood alcohol is 0.15 or higher will be required to keep the device in their vehicle for two years. Those facing additional convictions will be required to keep the device for one year for every conviction until the revocation of a driver's license takes place.

While many details related to the installation of the devices are still being worked out, currently two companies have been approved to install the interlock systems.

Alabama highway safety officials are hopeful that the new law will help to further discourage individuals from driving while intoxicated. Similar laws in other states have been well received and enforced.

A driver who drinks and chooses to get behind the wheel of a car or truck not only endangers their life, but also those of everyone else on the road. Accidents involving drunk drivers are often serious and result in severe injuries and even death.

Source: Alabama Live, "Alabama law requires device that prevents drunken driving in some DUI cases," Associated Press, Sept. 22, 212

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