Alabama bill requires drivers to be sober to start car

| 5/28/2003

An Alabama House panel passed legislation earlier this month that would make it more difficult for people with a history of drunken driving to get behind the wheel.

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would give judges the option of requiring a person convicted of driving under the influence to install an “ignition interlock device” in their vehicle that prevents it from starting if the driver is legally drunk, the Gadsden Times reported.

Under current law, a person convicted of drunken driving for the first time loses his or her driver’s license for 90 days. HB431, sponsored by Rep. Priscilla Dunn, D-Bessemer, would allow the judge to permit the person to drive with the special equipment on the vehicle.

The driver would blow into the device; if his or her blood alcohol level were too high, the vehicle wouldn’t start.