Bill would allow for sobriety testing prior to driving

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) -- A bill before the Nevada legislature aims to stop repeat DUI offenders, requiring them to install an ignition interlock device.

"I guarantee you it saved at least one life and one life to me is extremely important and worthy of legislation" said Senator Mark Manendo, D–Las Vegas. "Based on research and data, it shows as significant reduction in alcohol-related crashes."

Ignition interlock devices are breathalyzers installed into cars that prevent people who are drunk from driving. A driver is required to blow into the device before the car will start.

"Once it passes, then I have the ability to turn on my vehicle and drive away," said Aaron Wade, Judicial Services Liaison with Smart Start, an interlock device company.

Currently in Nevada, the devices are only ordered by a judge. Senator Manendo wants to change that.

"For people that do have problems, this obviously is a deterrent to driving impaired," said Manendo.

With SB 259, Manendo wants to increase the use of interlock devices. He says the law would require drivers to get a device installed immediately after a DUI arrest, but they would be able to keep their license.

“In return, they have to put an ignition interlock device in their car and that will obviously save lives, make sure that they can do what they need to do in their daily lives," said Manendo.

Nationwide, interlock devices have kept nearly 1.77 million drunk drivers off the road and that only includes people who have failed the test. It doesn't account for people who choose not to drive knowing they have an interlock device.

29 other states currently require the use of ignition interlock devices for first-time DUI offenders.