Tough New California Law Targets Habitual Drunk Drivers

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Gov. Schwarzenegger signed legislation this week that would revoke the driver’s license of anybody repeatedly caught driving under the influence in California.

Chronic drunk drivers could lose their license for ten years, when the law goes into effect January 1, 2012.

KCBS Melissa Culross Reporting:

Assemblyman Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) was inspired to draft the legislation after a disturbing incident in his district.

“There was a news article last November that indicated that a person just received their ninth DUI,” he recalled. “Their eighth DUI was about four years ago and it got me thinking how could someone keep getting these DUIs and keep getting their license back?”

Currently, motorists with three DUI convictions faced license revocation for three years. Hill’s legislation was drafted to give judges the option of revoking a habitual drunk driver’s license for much longer.

“This legislation is an important step towards making California’s roads safer,” added the governor’s spokeswoman, Andrea McCarthy. “It has the potential to take more repeat DUI offenders off the road for longer periods of time and the governor’s in favor of that.”

According to McCarthy, there was little question about whether the governor would sign the bill.

“He did indicate his support early for the legislation,” she said. “Typically he waits until a bill is in its final form but he indicated his support early on for this legislation.”

Of the nearly 188,000 DUI convictions reported by the Department of Motor Vehicles in 2008, more than 9,000 were repeat offenders.

“This is a great opportunity and a great way that we can potentially save lives in California,” declared Hill. “We could take 10,000 repeat DUI offenders off the road every year.”

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Melissa Culross
  • Jou Baur

    We can save my buddies, (the insurance companies,) millions of bucks.
    All we have to do is pass this law and make those repeat offenders uninsurable so they’ll drive without insurance.

    Jerry Hill

    (A true-to-life farce.)

  • Mary

    As good as this sounds, I’m concerned because it won’t work. People that are repeated offenders won’t stop driving just because their license have been suspended or even taken away. They don’t care – they’ll drive without a license. Something needs to be done to prevent them from driving altogether.

  • Rocky

    License suspension doesn’t work…but PRISON time would.

  • Barb

    I’m not sure, but I think it might be difficult to drive out of a jail cell…

  • Bloodhounds

    Why wait until 2012? Pass it know! Drunks and addicts don’t care about laws and rules. Prison time might make them think about doing it again. If they get arrested in S.F. they’ll get away with it. S.F. is way to linient on criminals!

  • Kale

    The proposed Bill is incomplete. In order for this to work the proposed Bill must include surgically implanting a coded chip into the body of those who have had their driver’s license revoked for repeatedly being caught driving under the influence in California or that they wear an ankle bracelet that would send a signal to the DMV who would in turn notify a policing agency whose job it is to protect and serve the community and the person whose driver’s license was revoked for repeatedly driving under the influence would be placed under arrest.
    These are difficult times requiring stricter measures be taken to ensure public safety. This added proposal will undoubtedly be challenged; however, I submit that without this requirement being included into this Bill passing it as it stands would be tantamount to locking a barn door after the horse has left the barn. Think about it. End of story.

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