DUI Offenders and Interlock Devices

53,000 drivers were charged with DUI last year. For one-in- four of them, it was a second offense.

Connie Russell’s son was killed by a drunk driver over Christmas 2006. She’s pushing legislation that would require an ignition lock for everyone convicted of DUI, and if you don't blow into the device every 15 minutes or so to prove that you're still sober, your car comes to a slow stop.

An ignition lock is an instant breathalyzer that tests sobriety.

"We talk about how much is this going to cost them? Let me tell you how much this cost me. How much this cost so many parents," said Russell.

The cost per unit is 72.50 a month.

"That would be a lot of business for my client," said Doug Manheimer.

And even the company that leases the devices across much of the Florida has reservations.

"Their concern that there is a tipping point when if people are beginning to pay so much more they sometimes drop out of the system and then they are again drivers without licenses without insurance and without interlock," said Manheimer.

Lawmakers tabled the idea for now, which puzzled both the bill’s sponsor.

"We're trying to save lives. It's as simple as that trying saving lives," said Sen. Dorthy Hukill.

"Saving lives is the most important, not the drunk driver who already made the choice, the illegal choice," said Russell.

Another hearing for the bill hasn't been scheduled. The legislation also lengthens the amount of time DUI offenders would have to rent one of the ignition locks, depending on the circumstances of their arrest and their blood alcohol level.


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