Bill Would Create New Option After DUI Arrest - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Bill Would Create New Option After DUI Arrest

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A bill in the Nevada Legislature would allow anyone arrested for DUI to keep their driving privileges with one big exception.

Senate Bill 259 would give a person the option to keep their licenses, rather than get a 90-day suspension, while they are going through the court system. In order to keep their license, the driver must pay for, and install, an ignition interlock system (IIS). The system is connected to the car and starts once the car is turned on. It requires a breath test, and if it detects alcohol (after three attempts) it reports a violation. Everything on the car still works except the engine and a report is sent to the person monitoring the driver's behavior.

Advocates, law makers and the bill's sponsor held a press conference Friday morning in front of the Nevada Legislature. Officials with the Department of Public safety say it stopped a car from starting 855 times in Nevada last year. The bill would, in theory, put more IISs in vehicles, earlier in the process.

"If someone gets arrested for a DUI, It could be months before they end up going to court," says State Senator Mark Manendo of Las Vegas. He added that they chose to highlight the bill and the impacts of DUI tragedies on St. Patrick's day and the first weekend of March Madness because there is a greater chance of DUI arrests this weekend.

"St. Patrick's Day can be a wonderful day of celebration. There's no reason to make a decision that could end in tragedy," says Danielle Christenson. She lost her sister in a DUI related crash. She hopes to save others from tragedy and says SB259 is a win-win because it allows people to stay productive in society, while waiting to see a judge. "This gives them the opportunity from the very moment they've offended and are going through our judicial system to basically raise their hand and say, I made a huge mistake, I'm remorseful, I want to get back on track."

To see the full text of the bill, click here.

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