For Immediate Release – Office of State Senator Jerry Hill – February 25, 2019
Media Contact: Leslie Guevarra, 415-298-3404, leslie.guevarra@sen.ca.gov

 

 

Senator Hill Introduces Bill Requiring All DUI Offenders to Install Devices in Their Cars to Prevent them from Driving Drunk Again

 

SB 545 Honors Bay Area 22-Year-Old Killed by a Drunk Driver

 

 

SACRAMENTO – All drunk driving offenders would be required to install ignition interlock devices in their cars under a bill introduced by state Senator Jerry Hill in memory of Matthew Klotzbach, a Naval Academy midshipman who was riding home to Livermore after an outing with his family when a drunk driver broadsided the Klotzbachs’ vehicle, killing the 22-year-old.

 

Senate Bill 545, the Matthew Klotzbach Mandatory Ignition Interlock for DUI Offender Act of 2019, restores the requirement for anyone convicted of drunk driving, including first-time offenders not involved in injury accidents, to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. The devices, known as IIDs, are calibrated to the driver and prevent a car from starting if the would-be driver’s breath sample exceeds a preset blood alcohol concentration level.

 

“Requiring ignition interlocks for all offenders is a countermeasure proven to reduce DUI recidivism,” said Mary Klotzbach, who co-founded the Bay Area chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving with her husband, Tom, after their son was killed. “To have this bill carry our son Matt's name is an honor. Matt chose to serve and his legacy is saving lives in a way we never anticipated.”

 

“SB 545 honors Matt Klotzbach and his parents,” said Senator Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. “Mary, with Tom by her side, has been instrumental in making the Legislature aware of the importance of ignition interlock devices. IIDs have been tested and proven to save lives.”

 

“MADD is grateful to Senator Hill for his longstanding dedication to supporting our mission to eliminate the 100 percent preventable tragedies caused by drunk driving,” said MADD National President Helen Witty. “This legislation to expand the ignition interlock requirement to all drunk drivers will save lives, as shown by multiple peer-reviewed studies and supported by traffic safety experts across the country. We look forward to California joining the 32 states and Washington, D.C., that have passed laws recognizing that the work to prevent repeat offenses begins with the first offense.”

 

In 2009, legislation by then-Assemblymember Mike Feuer, a Los Angeles Democrat, established a four-county pilot program requiring IIDs for all DUI offenders in Alameda, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Tulare. Legislation by Senator Hill in 2016, SB 1046, expanded the pilot program statewide. The expanded program rolled out on January 1 this year with an exception that made IIDs optional for first-time DUI offenders who were not involved in a crash. The exception was added last minute as the bill moved through the Legislature in 2016.

 

“‘First-time’ offenders are rarely first-time drunk drivers,” said Mrs. Klotzbach. “Conservative estimates show that a first-time convicted DUI offender has driven drunk at least 80 times prior to being arrested.”

 

More than 1,000 people die and over 20,000 are injured each year in California as a result of drunk driving. In the past 30 years, more than 50,000 people have died and over 1 million have been injured because of drunk drivers in the state.

 

In contrast, since 2010, IIDs have prevented over 1 million instances of drinking and driving in California, according to research by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Across the U.S., IIDs prevented 2.7 million drunk driving attempts, the MADD study found.

 

“The goal of the IID program is to prevent DUI offenders from driving drunk again and injuring or killing people,” said Senator Hill. “It is critical that this pilot program apply to all DUI offenders.”

 

Thirty-two other states already require IIDs for all DUI offenders. The National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention recommend IIDs for all DUI offenders, and the NTSB wrote in support of SB 1046 as it was originally introduced. “Research and evaluation of ignition interlock programs over the last two decades has found that ignition interlock devices are effective in reducing recidivism among DWI offenders, sometimes by as much as 62 percent to 75 percent,” the NTSB said in its letter supporting the 2016 bill. “SB 1046 significantly upgrades California’s ignition interlock law by mandating devices for all offenders…providing your state another excellent step toward reducing crashes, injuries, and deaths involving alcohol-impaired drivers.”

 

SB 545, introduced Friday, also would extend the statewide pilot program by a year so that it ends January 1, 2027. Senator Hill introduced the legislation as an urgency bill. It requires a two-thirds vote to pass and would take effect immediately after gaining such approval in both houses and the governor’s signature.

 

Further resources:

 

  

 

 

Photos of Mary and Matthew Klotzbach, Matthew Klotzbach, and the Klotzbach vehicle after it was struck by a drunk driver. – Photographs courtesy of the Klotzbach family.

 

Public Service Announcement by Senator Hill and Mary Klotzbach on the expanded IID program: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvJQ_HFS7vY

 

How the Statewide Pilot Program Works
December 2018 News Advisory from Senator Hill:
https://sd13.senate.ca.gov/news/2018-12-27-senator-hill-sfpd-chief-peninsula-law-enforcement-madd-announce-rollout-statewide

 

MADD 10-Year Report on IID Use: 
https://online.flippingbook.com/view/197837/1

 

MADD 2018 Update:
https://www.madd.org/press-release/ignition-interlocks-prevented-354372-drunk-driving-attempts-in-2017/

 

California DMV 2016 Report on the Four-County IID Program: 
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/b1eba1e5-9155-40ba-9a74-0e6e19a0d1bc/S5-251.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID

 

NTSB Letter in Support of SB 1046 as Introduced:
https://sd13.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd13.senate.ca.gov/files/support_-_sb_1046_-_ntsb.pdf

 

MADD Research Resources:
https://sd13.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd13.senate.ca.gov/files/madd_iid_research_resources.pdf

 

MADD IID Facts and Figures:
https://sd13.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd13.senate.ca.gov/files/madd_iid_factsfigures.pdf