It’s been expected for a long time, and it’s finally happened. Congress will be considering a proposal that will require U.S. automakers to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) on all new vehicles. New York Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, a former District Attorney, is introducing the legislation. Ignition interlock devices are essentially breathalyzers. They measure a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level, and if you “blow” over the limit, the car won’t start. Court-ordered installation of an IID is one of the penalties available to California judges imposing DUI sentences. In Alameda, Tulare, Sacramento, and Los Angeles County, IID installation is mandatory for convicted DUI offenders. If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, immediately get the legal help you need by contacting an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

In a press release dated July 14, Congresswoman Rice cited University of Michigan researchers who believe that IIDs in every car, after the first fifteen years, would reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities by 85 percent and reduce injuries by roughly the same percentage. Some might question the exactness of those statistical projections, especially if IID devices are as routinely inaccurate as the breathalyzer devices used by most law enforcement agencies. Representative Rice previously served as District Attorney of Nassau County, New York, where she secured Long Island’s first DWI-related murder convictions and led a statewide overhaul of New York’s DWI laws. She recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

While this particular IID proposal may or may not become federal law, it’s almost inevitable that at some point, “blowing” before starting your car will become as much a habit as adjusting your mirrors and buckling up. For now and the future, however, if you’re arrested and charged with DUI in Orange County or anywhere in southern California, you’ll need the help that an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney can provide, so don’t wait to make the call.