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New drunk-driving law cracks down on third-time offenders

On Tuesday the San Francisco Chronicle reported on a new drunk-driving law that allows judges to revoke someone’s driver’s license for up to 10 years if an offender has three or more convictions of driving under the influence within a decade. The measure by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, will take effect on Jan. 1, 2012.

Hill told the Chronicle that the measure could take 100,000 DUI repeat offenders off the road each year. Hill also said: “Nearly 188,000 DUI convictions were handed down around the state in 2008 with 9,164 of those drivers on their third conviction and 3,200 with four or more DUI offenses.”

The National Highway Traffic Administration reported that there are roughly 1.5 million DUI arrests in California each year, with a third of them repeat offenses. According to the agency, more than 310,000 Californians have three or more DUI convictions.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told the Chronicle in a statement: “This legislation is an important step toward making California’s roads safer. Those who have multiple DUI convictions should not be on the road threatening lives.”