New bill would require car breathalyzer devices for every DUI offender

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (WSVN) - Forget leniency for a first-time offense: lawmakers in Florida are considering a bill that would require anyone convicted of a DUI to install an ignition breathalyzer device in their car.

The interlock device requires the driver to blow into it before allowing the ignition to be turned on. If it shows the blood alcohol level to be over the limit, the car will not start.

Current law in the state only requires the devices to be installed for second-time offenders, or those who blow 0.15 — twice the legal limit. But one representative in the state legislature wants to change that.

Cord Byrd, a Republican from Jacksonville, introduced House Bill 949, which would make it mandatory for every person convicted of DUI to install the device in their car. Drivers would have to pay for the cost of the installation themselves.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the devices have prevented 50,000 attempts to drive drunk since the state started requiring repeat offenders to have the devices installed in 2008.

If the bill passes, Florida would become the 29th state to require interlock devices for every convicted drunk driver.

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