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State's Convicted Drunk Drivers Now Need Ignition Interlocks

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Convicted drunk drivers will need to add a new device to their cars if they want to drive.

A new state law took effect Sunday that mandates ignition interlocks on all vehicles owned by anyone convicted of felony or misdemeanor drunk driving.

These drivers have to blow into the device, which works like a breathalyzer, to be able to start their cars.

The provision is part of "Leandra's Law," named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who died in a drunk driving crash last year.

Leandra's Law makes it a felony to drive drunk with a child under age 16 in the car, and the interlock rule applies to everyone convicted of driving while intoxicated, including first-time offenders.

"This is going to save many lives, many lives. You're not just putting people in harm in the vehicle with you, but you also can take lives. Someone else who's driving [can kill] innocent people," said Lenny Rosado, Leandra's father. "So it's the beginning of something new, something great."

The interlocks will cost drivers between $75 and $100, plus monthly fees.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, figures show states with ignition interlock laws have seen a 35-percent drop in fatal DWI crashes.

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