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Kentucky House & Senate Pass Lifesaving Drunk Driving Bill

Kentucky House & Senate Pass Lifesaving Drunk Driving Bill

WMSK Staff

March 15th, 2019

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Governor’s Signature Would Make Kentucky 33rd State
with All-Offender Ignition Interlock Law
FRANKFORT — The Kentucky House of Representatives and Senate on Thursday passed SB 85, which expands Kentucky’s ignition interlock law to all drunk driving offenders. If signed by Governor Matt Bevin, Kentucky will become the 33rd state in the nation to require ignition interlocks after the first drunk driving offense in order to receive driving privileges.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) thanks SB 85 bill sponsor Senator Whitney Westerfield for championing this lifesaving legislation and for being a passionate advocate for preventing drunk driving tragedies. MADD also applauds the efforts of Rep. Richard Heath, who led the House floor efforts on this bill, and Rep. Dennis Keene, who previously authored versions of this legislation. Both have been personally affected by drunk driving crashes.
“We are so grateful for the leadership shown by Senator Westerfield and Representatives Heath and Keene, along with all of our partners in traffic safety,” said MADD National President Helen Witty. “We know that ignition interlocks have the potential to save thousands of lives and stop the frustrating and dangerous cycle of repeat offenses. We look forward to adding Kentucky to the list of states using the best technology available to stop drunk driving.”
The bipartisan bill received support from a diverse partnership of groups including the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, prosecutors and others who have been working together on this lifesaving legislation.
Studies show states that have ignition interlock laws similar to SB 85 can reduce drunk driving deaths by 16 percent.
The Commonwealth took an important first step in 2015 by passing SB 133 to create an ignition interlock program that applies to first-time offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater and all repeat DUI offenders. SB 85 would bring Kentucky in line with other states by expanding the current interlock law to all drunk driving offenders with an illegal .08 BAC and above.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save nearly 380,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

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