DUI fail?

The latest DUI plan? It blows …

The latest DUI plan? It blows …

Last July, Sacramento and three other California counties launched a new drunk-driving pilot plan, called the Ignition Interlock Device Test Program. The goal was to monitor all DUI offenders, whether first-time or repeat, by installing interlock ignition devices, or IDDs, in their cars. Proponents claimed the devices would successfully lower reoccurrence rates. Critics argued that boosting state revenues was the real reason for the program.

And, in a way, both were wrong: As of last month, less than 10 percent of those convicted even signed up for the program’s Breathalyzer-like devices—meaning that most DUI offenders are probably still out there driving illegally.

Sacramento-based Mexican American Alcoholism Program counselor Dannisha Dyson explained that money is what’s driving offenders away from the program. “The device … is costly,” she explained. “It’s about $69 a month, and they have to get it recalibrated every three months.” She added that most IDD companies, especially subcontracted ones, have installation, removal, and monthly service charges—in addition to a $40 DMV fee.

The Ignition Interlock Device Test Program was intended to go statewide in 2016 if successful, according to South Sacramento California Highway Patrol spokesman Michael Bradley, but lawmakers are currently meeting with officials at the Department of Motor Vehicles to rethink the entire plan. (Stephanie Rodriguez)

Hello, allergies!

Spring is here—which means allergy season, a nightmare time for those who suffer from asthma and other respiratory complications.

“The single most important thing when you hear it is going to be hot,” said local Dr. John Saylor, with Allergy & Asthma Associates in Sacramento, “is to go outside early in the morning.” And while the rain reigns of late, Saylor reminds not to exercise for prolonged periods outside—“even if your health is good”—on days when the air quality is bad.

Cold air can also be a trigger, especially when exercising outdoors,” he added.

Although there has been an increase nationally in the number of people with asthma and pediatric asthma, in the past couple of years, Saylor says he’s seeing fewer patients, which he attributes to the recession.

“I think people are toughing it out,” he surmised, while adding that allergy prevention is cost-effective and that people who seek treatment “not only feel better but are hospitalized less and miss less work.” (Kimberly Horg-Webb)

Retirement party

Here’s a novel idea: Instead of trading carbon credits, businesses should consider buying them—and then retiring said credits from circulation altogether. Or so goes the thinking behind website Carbon Retirement, where individuals or companies can truly offset their un-green footprints by purchasing polluters’ credits and then eliminating them from the game altogether, forcing companies to actually reduce emissions instead of merely shuffling pollution. Popular band Radiohead is employing this practice for the release and promotion of its latest album; find out more at www.carbonretirement.com. (Nick Miller)