SACRAMENTO, Calif. --– The California Senate Public Safety Committee this week advanced a bill that would make it easier for judges to require that a driver with a drunken driving citation install a breathalyzer in his or her vehicle.
The bill (SB 1190), sponsored by Senator Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach), next heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee, the California Chronicle reported.
"California currently is among the most lenient of states regarding extreme drunk drivers," Oropeza said shortly after bipartisan approval of her bill. "My measure would lower the blood-alcohol threshold from .20 to .15. This lowers the threshold for when judges can require vehicle breathalyzers as punishment for drunken driving."
The current level of .20 is the highest in the nation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The federal highway-safety group has encouraged states nationwide to adopt a BAC threshold of .15 for extreme drunken driving, the California Chronicle reported.