MAAD testified Tuesday in Texas in support of an ignition interlock bill. The bill proposes first-time offenders could decide if they want to lose the privilege to drive, or have an ignition interlock device installed instead. Many drivers who get DWIs lose their licenses, but advocates of House Bill 2246 believe that punishment is not enough. They claim that a suspended license does not prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel. They often drive out of necessity, to conduct normal lives.
Law enforcement agencies in Louisiana are making statewide upgrades to make DWI reporting more efficient. The upgrades will include a cross-agency DWI arrest reporting system that feeds data into a centralized state network. The new database will make DWI conviction information more consistently available across parish lines, and reduce the time frame from the moment of arrest to when other agencies receive information about the arrest.
Illinois lawmakers introduced legislation to strengthen ignition interlock laws. The new legislation would require program participants to acquire licenses that indicate the driver is required to drive a vehicle with an ignition interlock, and the bill would require drivers to install devices on all vehicles driven by the offender. T he bill passed the House and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
A team of UF Health researchers discovered that fatal alcohol-related car crashes in Illinois declined 26 percent after a 2009 increase in alcohol tax. The decrease was even more marked for young people, at 37 percent. The reduction was similar for crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers and extremely drunken drivers, at 22 and 25 percent, respectively. The study was released online in the American Journal of Public Health in March and will be published in a forthcoming issue.
Sen. Dennis Parrett introduced a bill in recognition of Brianna Taylor, an Elizabethtown High School graduate who lost her life in a terrible crash on Patriot Parkway. The driver of the other vehicle — who faces a murder charge — had been arrested six times previously for driving under the influence. But because Michael Todd Hilton’s most recent conviction for drunken driving was more than five years before the fatal crash, this charge is considered a first offense under current law. This bill would change what is called the “look-back period” in judicial circles. Rather than the current five-year period, the revised law would allow a full decade. Prosecutors would be able to bring more serious charges for people convicted of multiple DUIs within 10 years. That means potentially stronger penalties and hopefully through jail time and counseling, help reform the repeat offenders of this deadly offense.