New law uses device to crackdown on repeat DUI offenders

Local News

Staring Oct. 1, 2018, a new law goes into effect cracking down on repeat DUI offenders. Anyone busted for driving under the influence will be required to install ignition interlocks in their vehicles.

This device is designed to make it more difficult for impaired drivers to get behind the wheel.

Clark County prosecutors are busy going after impaired drivers. In fact, there’s a team of five attorneys dedicated to making sure they learn their lesson.

“I’d like to have another two or three just for my DUI team but they’ll are very good at what they do,” said Steve Wolfson, Clark County District Attorney.

A new law hopes to prevent the same faces from coming back to the courtroom. 

Senate Bill 259 was approved last June. It requires drivers busted with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 and above to get an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle for 90 days after an arrest.

If convicted, they will have to have the device for at least six months.

“We estimate that about 100 people a day are convicted of DUI’s in our Las Vegas Justice Court now, they’re not all alcohol but the vast majority are,” Wolfson said.

A judge can make an exception if the driver provides medical proof that they are unable to give a deep lung sample or if the driver lives more than 100 miles away from a manufacturer of the device.

And although the law targets drunk driving, it may be applied to drug-related DUI’s as well.

“So, my reading of it is that even if you’re accused of a drug driving, you would likely still have to get a breath interlock device installed,” said Adam Solinger, lead criminal defense attorney.

The changes also crack down on tampering with the devices.

“It’s now a misdemeanor to offer to give a breath sample for someone else,” he said. 

Currently, ignition interlocks are required for first-time offenders arrested with a blood alcohol level double the legal limit, felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter, and if a DUI results in death or serious injury. This will no longer be the case, starting Oct. 1.

“I think the new law will help save lives because it will be an extra layer of protection,” Wolfson said. 

The cost associated with the devices vary but it can easily add up to hundreds of dollars. A price that would have to be paid by the DUI driver.

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