CALIFORNIA – A legislature in California that promotes sober driving has been recently amended to both remove the permanent “look-back” period for those having been arrested in the state due to a DUI and prevent judges from permanently suspending a DUI repeated offender’s driving license.
As far as the “look-back” protocol is concerned, the new law allows any DUI that took place over ten years ago from an initial search date to be removed from the driver’s permanent record. When it comes to revoking a license, a judge can only mandate the suspension for a period of three years if this is the offender’s third DUI infraction.
Part of the reason for the change was due to economic reasons. California is facing a $19 billion deficit and maintaining old guidelines for DUI offenders was exceeding the state’s limited budget.
California DUI lawyers as well as civil activists challenged the original bill under the context that the possibility for DUI offenders to regain their license was a positive motivational tool for them to seek help for alcohol abuse. Instead of the indefinite suspension of the drivers’ license, it was suggested to opt for an ignition interlock device instead – which almost all states have currently implemented.
A test program to see the effectiveness of the interlock device in California will commence on July 1, 2010. All repeat offenders will be court ordered to install the device in their car if they wish to be able to drive. The program will begin in select cities, such as Los Angeles and Sacramento, and if successful, will expand to cover the entire state.
DUI lawyers urge repeated offenders to get help for alcohol abuse and to maintain sobriety. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of accidents in the United States. Attorneys argue that hopefully, with the new plan, instances of DUI offenses will dramatically decrease.