The State Assembly of California in the US has approved a bill that would require all vehicle owners convicted of drunk driving to install an on-board alcohol sensor in their vehicles.

The device, called an ignition interlock, allows the vehicle to start only when the driver blows into it and detects it to be alcohol-free. Even the slightest amount of alcohol, as little as one drink, is enough for the device to prevent the start of the car.

Once the bill, currently under the state governor’s consideration, is approved, the device installation would be made mandatory as a punishment in vehicles of all those drivers who are convicted of drunk driving.

The time period to use the device would vary for one-time offenders and for those with more convictions.

The device will undergo testing next July in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties in the state and will run until 2016.

Officials believe the device can bring down the number of drunk driving fatalities, which cause 25% of all road fatalities in the state annually.

If the bill becomes law, the state would seek $300,000 in federal grants to cover startup costs, the rest could be covered by the driver.