New law will put breath testing device in DUI offenders' vehicle - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

New law will put breath testing device in DUI offenders' vehicles

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It measures if the driver blows .08 or higher and will not start the car if so. (Source: WBRC video) It measures if the driver blows .08 or higher and will not start the car if so. (Source: WBRC video)
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A new Alabama law will make it harder for you to get on the road if you have had a DUI, including first-time offenders.

Since 2011, the ignition interlock has been an option for offenders, if a judge would allow it. It used to be for those who had a blood alcohol level of .15 at the time of arrest. The new law has lowered that level to .08.

The device is hooked up to an offender's vehicle and, whenever they get in the car, they have to blow into the device. It measures if the driver blows .08 or higher and will not start the car if so.

This is an option offenders may have instead of having their license suspended, but the driver must pay for the device. The new bill includes an indigent defense fund of $5,000 for those who cannot afford the equipment.

Rep. Allen Farley, who co-authored the bill, says everyone convicted of drunk driving will pay $75 a month for the first four months after their conviction. This money will help build up the fund. Those in need of assistance will then be required to pay only 50% of the cost.

But we're going to give you an option: go to work," said Farley. "No, it's not too much to ask of anyone, because drunk driving is 100 percent preventable. You chose to drink and drive and the legislature has said if you drink and drive, this is your consequence."

Rep. Farley says other states, like Arizona, who have passed a similar measure, have seen drunk driving related accidents decrease by as much as 40 percent. It is his hope Alabama can see the same results, if not better.

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