Two California Assembly Committees have passed important, life-saving drunk driving legislation with unanimous votes. The next stop for SB 1046 by Senator Jerry Hill, which would require ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders in California, is the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
On Monday, the Assembly Transportation Committee voted 10-0 in favor of SB 1046. Today, the Assembly Business and Professions Committee followed suit by voting 16-0.
“MADD is grateful to both committees for recognizing that all Californians deserve to be protected from drunk drivers,” said Mary Klotzbach, a nurse at John Muir Trauma Center in the San Francisco Bay Area whose 22-year-old son, Matt, was killed by a drunk driver. “We know ignition interlocks save lives by stopping a car from starting if the driver has had too much to drink.”
SB 1046 received an endorsement earlier this month from the Los Angeles Times editorial board:
“The law would apply to drivers who have been convicted of being inebriated while steering a ton or more of steel and glass down public streets and, potentially, into the path of innocent drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bystanders. Having been caught driving drunk once, they ought to be prevented from doing it again altogether.”
Currently, ignition interlocks are required in only four counties as part of a pilot program in Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare and Sacramento counties.
“Ignition interlocks have stopped more than 1.1 million attempts to drink and drive since the four-county pilot began. Imagine how many more lives will be saved if interlock use is expanded to all 58 counties in California,” Klotzbach said.
Voting in favor of the bill in the Assembly Transportation Committee were Chairman Jim Frazier, Vice Chairman Eric Linder, Members Catharine Baker, Cheryl Brown, Kansen Chu, Tom Daly, Bill Dodd, Eduardo Garcia, Young Kim and Patrick O’Donnell. All 16 members of the Business and Professions Committee voted in favor of SB 1046 (Chairman Rudy Salas, Vice Chairman William Brough, Members Catharine Baker, Richard Bloom, Nora Campos, Rocky Chávez, Brian Dahle, Bill Dodd, Susan Talamantes Eggman, Mike Gatto, Jimmy Gomez, Chris Holden, Brian Jones, Kevin Mullin, Philip Ting and Jim Wood).
“MADD applauds these legislative partners as we work to create a state — and a nation — of No More Victims,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “We look forward to working with the Assembly Appropriations Committee later this summer.”