A new law aimed at keeping drunk drivers off the roads went into effect September 1 in Alabama and could go a long way in reducing the number of DUI cases in the state. The law requires people convicted of drunk driving to install a wheel lock in their automobile. Then, drivers could start their vehicle only after breathing into a breathalyzer.
"If it registers above the preset amount, the car horn starts going off and the lights start flashing. The car will shut off until they blow below the registered limit," said Sgt. Jeremy Collins, a supervisor with the Dothan Police Department.
Collins knows all too well the dangers of drinking and driving through his years of experience as a patrol officer. He said just because someone has only been caught and convicted of DUI once doesn't mean they haven't driven under the influence before. "A person will drive around 80 to 87 times before they are actually caught by a police officer and arrested for the first time," said Collins.
Once a person is convicted of a DUI, they must pay the cost of installing an interlock system, which can run upwards of $500 and must be installed in every car that person drives. Money well spent considering the cost of innocent lives lost. That in addition to hundreds in fines, court cost, and loss of driving privileges.