After about 2,200 DUI arrests were made in Alachua County over the past two years, Florida Representative Cord Byrd is proposing a new bill to monitor driving for first-time offenders.
The proposed legislation would require first-time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. Drivers must blow into this device to measure breath alcohol content in order for the car to start.
Ignition interlock devices are currently required for second-time DUI offenders and offenders are typically mandated to use them for six months, costing them $50 to $100 each month.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving chairperson Mary Kelley is in favor of the legislation and said ignition interlocks can prevent drunk drivers from hurting people.
Others, like Daniella Fragnito, are worried that the device will not be enough to stop drunk drivers.
“There’s always going to be people that outsmart it,” said Fragnito, a friend of a victim of drunk driving. “There’s always going to be that person, that alcoholic, someone who has to get behind the wheel when they’re drunk who’s going to find their way around it.”