Senate Bill 1 Update (Bill Imposing Ignition Interlock On DUI Pretrial Diversion Participants)


Frank Ward is a lawyer based out of Huntsville, Alabama, and practicing throughout North Alabama.  His practice focuses on DUI defense, driver license issues, expungement of criminal records, as well as, estate planning and probate.

Earlier this month I published a post about Senate Bill 1, a bill that would require participants in DUI pretrial diversion programs to have ignition interlock devices for the length of the time they are enrolled in the program or six months, whichever is longer. An ignition interlock device is a breath alcohol testing device that is installed in a motor vehicle and linked to the vehicles ignition system.  It also records data from each blow, which is downloaded at regular intervals by the interlock provider.  For a few years now, Alabama law has required them for those convicted of 2nd and subsequent DUI offenses and even for some first time DUI offenders.  Alabama does not currently require them for those participating in DUI pretrial diversion programs.  Senate Bill 1 would change that. 

Since the time of my original post, the odds of Senate Bill 1 becoming law have increased.  At the time of my original post the bill had already passed the Senate and was in the House.  It is now pending its third reading in the House and has a favorable recommendation for the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.  

If passed, it would be a boon to ignition interlock providers but an added expense to DUI diversion participants and a headache for them and for the court system to administer. As to whether it would make the general public any safer, that remains to be seen.