Connecticut's breathalyzer law takes effect

Until July 1, Connecticut law afforded a loophole to some drunk driving offenders that allowed them to avoid an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. An IID requires a driver to blow a breath sample into a tube before their car could start. Previously, a IID was required only after a second DUI conviction or when a drunk driver entered a diversion program.

Under the new law, all Connecticut drivers who have their licenses suspended for a DUI must install an IID on their car's ignition. If the breath sample is over .025 percent, the ignition will not operate. Random samples are also required during the operation of the vehicle. The required time for keeping the breathalyzer in the vehicle will depend on whether the offender is over 21-years-old, whether the driver is a repeat offender and whether the motorist refused taking a blood alcohol test.

This new law will impact approximately 6,500 first-time DUI offenders who were not required to install these drivers under the previous law. Offenders will pay all costs for the device, its installation and its use.

A spokesperson for the Mothers Against Drunk Driving said that there was a 40 percent decrease in drunk driving fatalities in states that require IIDs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there was a 67 percent decrease in repeat DUI cases attributed to the use of these devices.

Connecticut officials claim that 39 percent of all car accident deaths involve a drunk driver. This new law and other enforcement efforts cannot fully end these drunk driving accident injuries. Victims of an accident caused by a drunk driver should take action to preserve their ability to obtain just compensation for medical expenses, serious injuries and other losses.

Source: WTNH, "New Connecticut DUI law goes into effect July 1st," Morgan Crabtree, June 30, 2015

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