New State Law Requires Repeat DUI Offenders to Have Ignition Interlock

SACRAMENTO -- It has now been nearly four decades since Larry and Kathy Harris have been without their daughter, Irene.

The 12-year-old at the time was killed in a vehicle collision involving an at-fault drunken driver.

"Even 37 years, I have days that I cry," Kathy Harris told FOX40.

Come 2019, California will change its laws regarding what happens to those who are arrested for drunken driving. Soon, the state will require an ignition interlock device, or IID, be installed for those who are repeat offenders.

Rhonda Campbell is Irene’s sister and a victim advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"Right now California has one of the highest repeat offender numbers in our country. It’s 34 percent will re-offend," Campbell said.

The law will also require an IID for those who are drunken driving and cause injury to another, even during a first DUI.

Since 2010, Sacramento County has been one of four counties in the state to require the installation of the breath machine. Now, for drunken drivers who cause injury and second-time DUIs, SB 1046 will expand that to all 58 counties.

For Campbell, it's a good step in the right direction.

"It being mandatory for repeat offenders is a huge victory," she said.

But the new law does not mandate an IID for first-time offenders. Campbell wishes it did.

"The guy that killed my sister was a repeat offender," she said. "Had he had to blow into an interlock that night maybe he wouldn’t have gone out and killed my sister and my best friend’s mother."

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