Oklahoma puts the brakes on repeat DUI offenders

| Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A bill before the governor in Oklahoma will put one more obstacle between repeat DUI offenders and the road.

HB1304, which won final approval in the House on May 5, would require all people with two or more drunken-driving offenses to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles, according to reports in The Oklahoman.

Once the device is installed, a driver must blow into a mouthpiece, which measures the amount of alcohol on a person’s breath. If the driver blows clean, the car will then start; if not, it won’t budge.

In addition, the devices often require drivers to re-blow in the machine after a designated period of time, to ensure that they have not convinced someone else to blow into the mouthpiece for them.

The bill, which also makes it a misdemeanor to tamper with the breath-testing device, is neither the first nor the strictest of its kind in the U.S. New Mexico recently passed similar legislation that required interlock devices for all drunken-driving offenders.

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately one-third of all arrests for DUI come from repeat offenders.

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