CARSON CITY — Mothers Against Drunk Driving is praising Nevada elected officials for passing Senate Bill 259, making Nevada the 30th state to require ignition interlocks after a drunk driving offense.
The bill was signed into law by Gov. Brian Sandoval on Monday and will take effect by Oct. 1, 2018.
“The new law will save lives by stopping first offenders from becoming repeat offenders,” Debbie Zelinski, program coordinator for MADD’s Northern Nevada Affiliate, said Tuesday. “MADD was proud to work with our elected officials and partners toward our shared goal of eliminating the violent and 100 percent preventable crime of drunk driving.”
SB259 will require anyone arrested with a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration and above to use an interlock for 90 days after an arrest. Upon conviction, a judge must order an ignition interlock for at least six months unless the judge determines this would not serve the interests of justice.
Currently, Nevada requires ignition interlocks for first offenders with a blood alcohol content of 0.18 or greater for a period of at least one year, and judges have the option of ordering first-time offenders with a BAC of 0.08 to 0.17 for three to six months.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ignition interlocks stop repeat drunk driving offenses by 67 percent compared with license suspension alone.
Nevada is the second state this month to become an all-offender state, meaning anyone who seeks driving privileges after an offense must use an ignition interlock. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin also signed an all-offender ignition interlock bill into law this month.
Contact Sean Whaley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.