Like most legal punishments, this one wouldn't last forever. Those convicted once of drunk driving will be required to use the device for six months, whereas the second conviction extends that to one year. Beyond that, we'd assume that even rougher penalties would be imposed.
Flickr: Tim Hamilton
The goal of this bill is to thwart drunk driving from ever happening, but whether or not having to install a humiliating device in your car would be enough of a deterrent remains to be seen. Those behind the bill think it's an important one to pass, as over 1,000 Californians die each year due to drunk drivers, while another 20,000 are injured. It goes without saying; those numbers are pretty high for something as unneeded as driving while intoxicated.
Of course, these new laws wouldn't be bulletproof – a convicted drunk driver could have someone else blow into the tube for them to get the car started (yes, I'd have to imagine such 'friends' exist), and if not that, legend has it that an air-filled balloon could defeat some of these systems as well. These might sound like exaggerated scenarios, but they could happen.
I don't have much sympathy for drunk drivers, so I am interested in seeing how successful this rollout would prove to be. If it does in fact get proven that these are powerful enough deterrents to drop drunk driver fatalities, it seems like there'd be a pretty good chance of seeing other states adopt it as well.