DUI law change takes effect in Alabama - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

DUI law change takes effect in Alabama

A new interlock device is supposed to crack down on drunk driving. (Source: MGN Online) A new interlock device is supposed to crack down on drunk driving. (Source: MGN Online)

Changes to the DUI law in Alabama took effect Friday.

The focus is on a new tool designed to crack-down on drunk driving.

There are two ways to look at the new interlock device. Some say it will help crack down on drunk driving. Others contend it's just a way for those convicted of driving while under the influence to get their license back sooner.

The new interlock device attaches to the ignition and won't allow the car to start if the driver blows a blood-alcohol level of a .02.

In some cases these devices are mandatory, but in others they are an alternative to getting a suspended license.

Attorney Tim Case said he's concerned about the loopholes that can been found with the new interlock devices.

One concern is people finding ways around blowing into the device if they've been out drinking and have one on their car. Anther concern is how the law dictates the local courts to monitor the devices, adding an additional workload to an already strapped system.

"If you're a third offense DUI and you blow a .15 or higher and you're convicted or you plead guilty, the law requires - mandatory - that you have the interlock device," said Case. "You drive for a period of 6 years on a misdemeanor conviction; the court can supervise you up to two years. So how's the court going to supervise or monitor that after the 2 year mark if that person as a 6 year interlock device on their car?"

Lawmakers originally passed this bill back in 2011. It was delayed until this year.

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