California to try car locks to curb drunken driving |

California to try car locks to curb drunken driving

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – People convicted of drunken driving in four California counties will have to test their breath for alcohol when they start their vehicles under a pilot program beginning next month.

A bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last fall requires first-time DUI offenders to install dashboard Breathalyzer devices that would prevent their car engines from starting if alcohol is detected.

The law goes into effect July 1 in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties. The Legislature is scheduled to evaluate the pilot program in 2015 and if it is successful, to expand the requirement statewide.

Some criminal defense lawyers and restaurant industry lobbyists fought the bill, saying the ignition lock technology should be reserved for repeat drunken drivers.

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