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New law to require DUI offenders to install Ignition Interlock device on vehicle

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – Oklahoma is getting stricter when it comes to getting behind the wheel after drinking. Governor Fallin signed a bill into law last week, which requires all first-time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device on their car. It takes effect November 1st, 2017.

The interlock device is a breathalyzer that is actually hooked up to your car. Once you get inside your car you breathe into the device and it will measure your blood-alcohol level. If it is above point zero eight, which is the legal limit, your car will not start.Supporters believe this new law will keep drunk drivers from getting on the road.

Representative Marcus McEntire from Duncan hopes the new law will deter drunk driving.
 
"Drunk driving affects people's lives and most of the time in a bad way either the driver themselves or if they are involved in a traffic accident they people that they maim or killed," said McEntire.

Under the new law, drivers pulled over on suspicion of DUI cannot refuse a breathalyzer test. They now have two options.

"You can go through a safety program to prevent this type of activity from happening and have an interlock device placed on your car for 6 months and as you go through the program and pass it you will have it removed. Or you can go to court and if found guilty then  you lose your driving privileges for a year," said McEntire.

29 other states have similar laws.

Nick Beckmann is the owner of High Volume Car Stereo Shop and installs hundreds of interlock devices every year. The device works on all cars.

"It interrupts your starter from starting whether you have remote start with a keypad the vehicle will not start unless you blow in the interlock," said Beckmann.

"Once the vehicle starts it has a random testing anywhere from 5 to 55 minutes and that keeps from somebody blowing in it for you and you leaving to go to another location," said Beckmann

If you shut the car car off, or fail the repeat test, the car will shut off. Drivers have five days to get their vehicle and breathalyzer back to a service center, costing big bucks to get it restored.

Beckmann believes the law will keep drunk drivers off the road.

"If the state knows that you got it then you are going to have to get the breathalyzer put in no matter if you get it on your record or not I think its a good thing for our state and I feel like we are doing a good service for the community," said Beckmann.

Getting the device installed on your car can be costly. Some companies charge up to $70 dollars a month to lease the device and hundreds of dollars to just to install it. It takes effect November 1st, 2017.

DUI attorneys around Oklahoma say its unconstitutional and plan to fight it in court.

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