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Archive for Monday, January 24, 2011

Mothers Against Drunk Driving pushing to pass law requiring first-time DUI offenders to install ignition interlocks

January 24, 2011

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State legislators are sifting through rhetoric from two national lobbying groups that disagree on just how far governments should go to prevent drunken driving.

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving is pushing the Kansas Legislature to pass a law that would require first-time DUI offenders to install ignition interlocks on their vehicles. Ignition interlocks require drivers to blow into a device that registers blood-alcohol content levels. If a driver is above a legal limit, a 0.08 BAC in Kansas, then the vehicle won’t start.

“From MADD’s perspective, anyone who violates the public trust by illegally driving drunk with a BAC of 0.08 deserves the ignition interlock,” said Frank Harris, state legislative affairs manager for MADD.

The American Beverage Institute, which represents more than 100 restaurants in Kansas, believes the bill will set an overreaching precedent for all drivers.

Currently, Kansas requires ignition interlocks for repeat DUI offenders and first-time offenders who have a BAC of almost twice the legal limit. The American Beverage Institute supports that existing law but believes judges should have more discretion when it comes to first-time offenders.

A 120-pound women who drinks two glasses of wine in two hours and drove would be treated the same as an average guy who had 10 drinks, said Sarah Longwell, managing director for the American Beverage Institute.

“Under this rationale, it would be like someone who is one mile over the speed limit would be the same as someone 30 miles over,” Longwell said.

Harris said the law would target binge drinkers, not social drinkers.

The Kansas bill is part of a larger campaign for MADD, which wants all convicted drunken drivers in every state to have ignition interlocks.

“It helps to reduce DUIs. It’s not a silver bullet, but it’s one thing to build your DUI law around,” Harris said.

The organization also is working with other groups on technology that would equip cars with a less obtrusive device for detecting drivers over the legal limit.

It’s the thought of that device that worries Longwell.

“We’re drawing a line in the sand,” Longwell said. “This technology is great, but it should only be used by offenders, hard core offenders.”

So far, 13 states have required first-time DUI offenders to install ignition interlocks on their vehicles. In Kansas, the devices would be put in place for a year following the first-time offender’s one-year driving suspension.

The proposal for ignition interlocks is part of Senate Bill 7, which also includes legislation for having repeat DUI offenders serve prison time and tougher laws for drivers who refuse to take a breath test.

Both MADD and the American Beverage Institute have plans to testify in person when the bill goes into Senate hearings this week.

Comments

mr_right_wing 3 years, 2 months ago

.....if only drunk drivers only killed themselves, not innocent victims...

as in: ...drunk driver dies horrible death, 'victim' walks away unscratched...

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 2 months ago

mr_right_wing, you got that right, but add to it: seizure of car driven on DUI #2 and beyond. death penalty for dui after that.
yes, I am serious.


of course the beverage institute is against this ... duh!

and cowboy, you are right about the initial experience being way too easy!

now, personal revelation: my father died a drunk driver. I saw the devastation first hand that it causes to driver's family, as well as to those he/she hits.

crank up the punishment, crank it way up! make the death penalty televised, too.

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pigballin 3 years, 2 months ago

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jcpainting 3 years, 2 months ago

i think this is just stupid. not everyone drives dunk. If they wanted to drive drunk with thterlock installed you can always find someone sober. I use to work at a bar and we had a guy that would leave his car running while he was inside drinking. they should just keep it at two or more

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pigballin 3 years, 2 months ago

To the MADD people..Try lobbying for beer to be at 3.2 again instead of 5%. It is time for the state of Kansas to limit the amount of alcohol in beverages. If you are real serious about,,that is instead of the direction you area going now.

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jstthefacts 3 years, 2 months ago

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ophiuchus 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm ignorant regarding the operation of these devices, but they would seem to be easily circumvented. Blow up a few balloons while sober, and then go on a binge...?

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Oread420 3 years, 2 months ago

MADD sucks. Way too severe for a first time offense. The current laws are sufficient. Texting, eating, fatigue, prescription medicines that cause sleepiness, and personal distractions while driviing are just as deadly. Why don't they go worry about that?

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jasonthesane 3 years, 2 months ago

Why wait until the conviction? How about ignition interlock for all motor vehicles? That would have a huge impact on the number of drunk drivers. Start installing them at the factory for all new cars and provide a tax credit for retrofits.

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JoRight 3 years, 2 months ago

The only way to get drunks off the road is harsher penalties for driving drunk. The interlocks is just another hurdle, not necessarily a deterrent.

The only winners in this one are the interlock makers & installers.

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coderob 3 years, 2 months ago

I have no problem with more effective policies, but shouldn't MADD at least consider lobbying for more public transportation funding?

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mr_right_wing 3 years, 2 months ago

Way too lenient.

1st convicted offense (if you don't kill anyone) your license is gone for one year; 'hardship' exemptions allowed, but strict--only to work or medical appointments IF public transportation is unavailable.

2nd convicted offense (or if you kill someone with the first convicted offense) you're done with getting a DL in Kansas, period. No 'hardship' exceptions.

Drunk drivers and deadbeat parents are two of the lowest forms of human beings.

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missmagoo 3 years, 2 months ago

I would support this if the driver's BAC was over something ridiculous.. like 2.0 or if the driver was involved in a multiple-vehicle accident.. but the way this is written now... RIDICULOUS! These mom's need to have a glass of wine and relax. :)

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LJ Whirled 3 years, 2 months ago

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ratfamily 3 years, 2 months ago

This MADD lobbyist is quoted as stating that this law would reduce the number of DUI’s. Show us the data please.

Currently, refusal to blow will lose you your license for a year (pending an administrative hearing should you request one). Here is one proposed change from Senate Bill 7, seems pretty harsh for a refusal.

Refusing to submit to a test to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs is: (A) On a first conviction a class A, nonperson misdemeanor. The person convicted shall be sentenced to not less than 90 days nor more than one year's imprisonment and fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $1,500. The person convicted shall serve at least five consecutive days' imprisonment before the person is granted probation, suspension or reduction of sentence or parole or is otherwise released. The five consecutive days' imprisonment mandated by this subsection may be served by completing: (i) Six days in a work release program only after such person has served 48 consecutive hours' imprisonment, provided such work release program requires such person to return to confinement at the end of each day in the work release program; or (ii) ten days under a house arrest program pursuant to section 249 of chapter 136 of the 2010 Session Laws of Kansas, and amendments thereto, only after such person has served 48 consecutive hours' imprisonment; (B) on a second conviction a class A, nonperson misdemeanor. The person convicted shall be sentenced to not less than 90 days nor more than one year's imprisonment and fined $2,500. The person convicted shall serve at least 10 consecutive days' imprisonment before the person is granted probation, suspension or reduction of sentence or parole or is otherwise released. The 10 consecutive days' imprisonment mandated by this subsection may be served by completing: (i) twelve days in a work release program only after such person has served 96 consecutive hours' imprisonment, provided such work release program requires such person to return to confinement at the end of each day in the work release program; or (ii) twenty days under a house arrest program pursuant to section 249 of chapter 136 of the 2010 Session Laws of Kansas, and amendments thereto, only after such person has served 96 consecutive hours' imprisonment; (C) on a third or subsequent conviction a severity level 7, nonperson felony.

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sr80 3 years, 2 months ago

if you got the cash i'll make sure you can still get smashed! dewey,cheatum,&howe att. at law.

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CHEEZIT 3 years, 2 months ago

How special there's an ad for a DUI lawyer on this strory!!!

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imastinker 3 years, 2 months ago

I don't have much sympathy for people that drive drunk - but I wish they made things a little more clear with the law. I have felt tipsy after one beer before, and had six and not felt tipsy before.

I assume my BAC was higher after six beers than one - but really have no idea. The whole thing is pretty subjective unless you are the one with the breathalyzer. Maybe they should be spending their money on a campaign to show people how fast their BAC hits .08 after drinking, like showing up at bars in town with a breathalyzer and letting people blow into it to see how drunk they are. I for one would like to know this information.

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imastinker 3 years, 2 months ago

I don't have much sympathy for people that drive drunk - but I wish they made things a little more clear with the law. I have felt tipsy after one beer before, and had six and not felt tipsy before.

I assume my BAC was higher after six beers than one - but really have no idea. The whole thing is pretty subjective unless you are the one with the breathalyzer. Maybe they should be spending their money on a campaign to show people how fast their BAC hits .08 after drinking, like showing up at bars in town with a breathalyzer and letting people blow into it to see how drunk they are. I for one would like to know this information.

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cowboy 3 years, 2 months ago

I have always thought that the more impact you have on arrest the longer lasting the lesson learned. Keep DUI offenders in jail for 48 hours before setting bail. Let there be some actual inconvenience , learning time , involved in the arrest process. Now you are out in an hour or so.

Simple learning theory is that the punishment applied must be immediate to have any impact. You get bonded out in an hour then take six months to work your way thru court. This is not a traumatic event.

Ignition interlocks just make money for the monitoring companies. They can go get another car in a heartbeat if they want to.

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sowhatnow 3 years, 2 months ago

They didn't bother with an ignition interlock for a man I know. They took away his license. So he kept driving drunk. Until he crashed again...

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