Local DUI lawyer explains how a repeat drunk driver can stay on road

Jan 14, 2015 7:44 PM by Brian Johnson

The Chico man accused of causing a fatal drunk driving accident on the Skyway Monday was ordered to install a device that would stop his car from starting, but never installed it.

Richard Wilson is accused of driving drunk head-on into another car on the Skyway, killing his female passenger.

Wilson was driving with a revoked license in a car registered to him that did not have an ignition interlock device installed.

"Had he had a interlock ignition device in that vehicle, I think it would have saved lives," said Chico DUI lawyer Susan Hearne.

Court records reveal Wilson had four prior DUI's and several driving with a suspended license convictions.

His last DUI came in 1994, for which he was sent to state prison.

Hearne says sometime after that, Wilson fell through the cracks.

"They're allowed to come back in a society and try and make a fresh start," Hearne said. "Somewhere along the line he struggled."

Hearne says new technology, like the Scram bracelet, can be effective in stopping repeat DUI offenders from driving drunk again.

Hearne says new state legislation this year requires anyone pulled over with a suspended license (because of a DUI) to have an ignition interlock device installed.

Currently, a California state senator is fighting to expand ignition interlock devices to all California counties for anyone convicted of drunk driving.


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