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Got Whiskey Breath? Good Luck Trying to Drive Your Car

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You'll find two vastly different opinions on that new pilot program to crack down on drunk drivers. In case you haven't heard, in some California counties, including LA County, drivers who have been convicted of DUIs will soon be required to have breathalyzer ignition devices installed in the cars. You saw "The 40-Year-Old-Virgin?" Then you know what we're talking about. But the Oakland Tribune has serious problems with the program, specifically the discrepancies around who has to have the devices installed.

For instance, according to the Tribune, it "would require first-time offenders to use the interlock device for only five months, or one year if the DUI caused an injury. Then it ramps up the time required to use the device for the second, third, fourth and subsequent DUI convictions."

The editorial asks: "Why make a distinction for an injury accident?" It also questions the funding of the program, suggesting the program could eventually be paid for by taxpayers. Meanwhile, over at the LA Weekly, they're cheerleading the new law. Jesus, you've never heard the Weekly sound so positive about anything!: "One of the best things about this pilot project, which will launch in the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare on July 1, 2010, is that the pricey breathalyzer-ignition lock device is going to be installed on all vehicles owned or operated by a person convicted of a DUI offense--and woo hoo!!--taxpayers won't pay. The drunk driver has to pay. Good! Maybe we can further screw these jerks by requiring them to pay for an extra smog check while they're at it." So who actually pays for this thing? And how do you make sure all those drunk moms (sad fact: nationwide, women are increasingly getting DUIs, while DUIs for men are on the decline) don't get their kids to breathe into the devices?
· Editorial: California's new DUI pilot program is too weak [Oakland Weekly]
· Coming soon to L.A: Ignition-locking breathalyzers for cars [Weekly]