Oklahoma puts the brakes on repeat DUI offenders

| 7/1/2005

Gov. Brad Henry has signed a bill into law putting one more obstacle between repeat DUI offenders and the road.

The new law, previously HB1304, requires people with two or more drunken-driving offenses to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles for 12 months as a condition to regain their driver’s license, The Oklahoman reported. The bill passed the Legislature by large margins.

“Drunk drivers kill people,” Rep. John Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow, said in a released statement. “They should be held accountable for their actions and prove to the public and courts that they can drive without drinking before they get their licenses back.”

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 new law also makes it a misdemeanor to tamper with the breath-testing device.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about one-third of all arrests or convictions for DUI come from repeat offenders.