Kentucky is proud to join 24 other states in implementing the interlock law. Last March, Kentucky lawmakers passed the Senate Bill 133 or commonly known as the Ignition Interlock Bill. SB 133 was a hybrid of legislation repeatedly filed by Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Wilder. According to Rep. Keene, who is known as a longtime advocate for use of ignition interlock systems, this measure will make roads safer. On April 6, 2015, the bill was signed by Governor Steve Beshear. It takes effect in late June 2015.
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- Ignition interlock systems can prevent up to 35% of DUI fatalities
- Each year an average of over 10,000 people die on the road due to drunk driving
- In 2013, DUI driving fatalities accounted for 31% of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the U.S.
- In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in DUI crashes nationwide
- In 2012, 10,322 people were killed in DUI crashes nationwide
- In 2010, more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for DUI
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
The Kentucky Legislature defines an ignition interlock as “a device about the size of a mobile phone that is wired into the ignition system of a vehicle.” With the passage of the ignition interlock bill, convicted drunk drivers must blow into this device. The device will then measure their blood-alcohol content (BAC). If the driver’s BAC is at or above the legal limit, their vehicle will not start and they can’t drive their car. However, the final version of the bill does not require first-time DUI offenders to have the device installed. The only exception is when there is an aggravating circumstance, such as excessive speed or driving drunk with a child in the car.
Related: Getting A Ride Home After Drinking Can Save Lives
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I would like to commend our legislature for continuing the fight against DUI accidents. We need this, especially for those whose loved ones have been affected by DUI-related accidents. While we wait for this bill to take effect, let’s do our part in reducing DUI fatalities and make our roads safer for everyone. Drive sober, and never drink and drive.