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The Arizona House of Representatives has preliminarily passed a tough DUI bill requiring offenders to place ignition interlock devices on their vehicles which would prevent them from drinking and driving. The legislation apparently has enough support to pass the legislature and will likely go to the Governor’s office for signature. The legislation designed to prevent alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents, Senate Bill 1029, first started out as a measure to place even tougher jail penalties on drivers who have blood alcohol concentrations higher than .20. During floor debate, however, the bill was amended to include vehicle ignition interlock requirements on vehicles of all people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the amendment sponsor, requiring ignition interlock devices can act as a preventative measure to reduce drunk driving accidents on our roadways.

What do you think about this legislation? By requiring jail time for extreme DUI offenders and requiring ignition interlock devices on offenders’ cars, do you think we will see a reduction in alcohol-related car accidents? I fully support any reasonable and cost-effective approaches to reduce the dangers of drunk driving. Arizona has not been successful at reducing alcohol related fatalities. Maybe now is the time to try something new. I am not sure whether increasing jail-time punishment will lower alcohol-related accident rates. However, ignition interlock devices could certainly prevent offenders from repeatedly drinking and acting dangerously. For this reason, I think this legislation presents a good opportunity. I hope the legislature supports it and the Governor signs it. I’d like to hear your thoughts about this bill.

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