Current law permits many people who are arrested of drunken driving to plead to a wet and reckless conviction, which carries far fewer penalties than a DUI conviction, even though they are both the result of driving under the influence. Current law does not require those convicted of a wet and reckless to take any alcohol treatment classes.
"When someone shows a pattern of driving after drinking alcohol, it's clear that they need treatment," said Houston. "My bill closes a loophole and requires that any person convicted of driving while intoxicated more than once must get treatment - no matter what the judge calls the crime."
Every year in California, 200,000 people are arrested for driving under the influence. Seven percent of these people will re-offend within the year and more than 30 percent of those convicted will re-offend within seven to 10 years. There are nearly 2,000 deaths, and more than 31,000 people injured in DUI-related collisions each year.