Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Sunday he has signed a bill for a pilot program that will place ignition interlock devices in the vehicles of first-time drunk driving offenders in four California counties. The program begins on July 1, 2010 in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties. In July 2015, the state legislature will assess a study on its effectiveness in reducing drunk-driving accidents; if found to be effective, ignition interlock devices will be required for first-time offenders throughout the state.
With this pilot program, California joins 11 states requiring ignition interlock installation in the vehicles of first-time drunk driving offenders.
The American Beverage Institute, which represents more than 700 restaurants in California, urged Gov. Schwarzenegger not to sign the legislation, requesting that he support ignition interlock for high-BAC, repeat offenders instead.