A bill that could require first-time DUI offenders in Ohio to use an ignition interlock device on their vehicles could see legislative action this fall.
Currently, a judge orders the use of the interlocks, which require drivers to blow into a device that measures their blood-alcohol level before starting the vehicle. Only those who have been convicted of a DUI twice in six years are mandated by a judge to use the device. However, House Bill 469, would make it mandatory for all first-time offenders to use these devices.
If the bill passes, Ohio will be the 23rd state to require devices for first time offenders. There are many supporters of the bill, including the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). According to the NTSB, research has found that the devices reduce re-offenses by up to 75 percent.
Despite evidence that this could diminish the number of DUI’s or drunk driving accidents, some believe that the legislation could be a problem. Specifically, the bill could allow judges to impose ignition locks if a defendant ultimately pleads to a lesser charge. Additionally, if a defendant has to pay for the ignition lock over the course of 12 months even with a reduced charge, it could push more cases to trial.
The legislation, named Annies Law, was inspired by a prosecuting attorney who was killed in July 2013 by a drunk driver who had been arrested three times; the driver had been convicted for a DUI once and had two plea deals for lesser charges.
Since 2011, the number of drunk driving accidents have decreased. However, between 2011 and 2012, the number of deaths attributed to alcohol-related crashes increased by nearly 27 percent in Ohio.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, the car accident attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & levy can help you fight for the justice you deserve.