Archive for Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kansas strengthens drunken driving laws

May 26, 2011


2011 Lawrence Crime Maps

A set of interactive Google maps providing a breakdown of crime in Lawrence in 2011.

— Kansas will require first-time drunken driving offenders to use ignition interlock devices on their vehicles, starting in July.

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Wednesday that strengthens the state’s laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The new law also requires the state to set up a central database of driving-under-the-influence cases to track of offenders’ histories.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving pushed Kansas to make its laws tougher. Last year, federal statistics showed alcohol-related traffic deaths in Kansas jumped in 2009, even as they dropped nationwide.

Current law suspends a first-time DUI offender’s license for 30 days and allows a judge to order use of an ignition interlock for 330 days after that. The new law will mandate 180 days’ use after the suspension.


nonracist 2 years, 10 months ago

If they enforce this law, hope they wait outside capital to get violators. Then every single christian legislator will have interlock installed, and so will Brownback.


jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

I used to think the most distracted drivers were the ones with a small child (or two) in the back seat. But that was before cell phones and texting (and tweeting and whatever else is out there). Add the person who is eating their juicy burger and fries, sipping their big gulp, smoking cigarettes and you have people who don't have a clue as to how to drive. Oh yeah, drunk drivers are bad too.


wvjhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

I will have my DUI administrative hearing in October and this bill is great news to me!!! Prior to this new law I was facing 330 days of driving restriction or 330 days of ignition interlock device following a 30 day suspension. Under new law I can continue to drive after my suspension with the measly inconvenience of an interlock device. I only have to do this for 180 days vs 330 in the prior law. Of course this is expensive, but for those who cannot afford the device one will be provided to them.

At any rate, I'm not sure what MADD is so excited about - drunk drivers will drive regardless of diversions, suspensions, restrictions, and/or ignition interlock devices. I would also like to note that most people have access to a second car that doesn't have an ignition interlock device installed. I say cheers to this new law, and I am looking forward to moving on with my life six months sooner than planned!


witchfindergeneral 2 years, 11 months ago

I've no major qualms with this law; ideally, more punitive laws against drunk driving should save lives. This kid of "big government" regulation (expensive as it may be) should be embraced by every Kansan.

' Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Wednesday that strengthens the state’s laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. '

I'm curious about the "other drugs" covered by this law. Of course I don't want to drive on roads with cranked up meth users, but I would put marijuana users in a different category. Granted, I'd rather NOT drive on streets with altered persons at all, but it's a stretch to equate marijuana intoxication with harder drug use (or alcohol, for that matter), and the punishment for driving stoned should be less severe. Who would you rather share the road with: a stinking drunk, speeding and driving recklessly, or a stoned guy, cautiously cruising 5 mph under the speed limit?


Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 11 months ago

This is quite likely to be a very politically incorrect thing to say, and may very well be deleted by the moderator. So readers, read it closely because this comment may be gone next time you take a look.

I've been a passenger in a car that I could have done a better job driving while drunk than he could dead sober!

I never rode with him in a car again, because one day I was a passenger in his car and I started screaming at him to take a look out the windshield, because he was about to slam into the back of a stopped truck at 65 mph!

My screaming saved our lives by far less than a split second. When he finally got his car stopped, we were only 6 feet from the rear bumper of the truck.

Some people should never drive while either sober or intoxicated because they just don't have the necessary skills that are required to do it.

The state of Kansas did all that was legally possible to revoke his driving privileges, but that didn't work, he just kept on driving with a suspended license. He was caught doing that three times!

Finally, one day he didn't have a screaming passenger to get him to look out the windshield, and that is the day he drove off the left side of the highway and into a ditch. He collided with a tree, and now his driving days are done.


Oh, and by the way? He did get three DUIs, and so now he is now facing jail time.

But if you talk to him, he'll claim it wasn't his fault, of course.


The_Original_Bob 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm not endorsing drunk driving. Far from it. Just wanted to point out that MADD is one of the most corrupt special interest organizations going.


ratfamily 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow. This is going to cost a pantload. It was estimated that this bill would cost taxpayers 10 million a year…when we are already facing a multi-million dollar budget deficit. Good-bye social welfare programs, hello jail time! What do you think costs us more? MADD pushed this bill through??? How about the companies that install and monitor ignition interlock systems? That isn’t cheap, and it’s not like there is consumer competition to prevent one’s own car from starting.

At least refusing to take a breathalyzer wasn’t made a criminal offense as this bill was originally proposed (not that that provision would have passed judicial review once challenged anyway)…if you can polish this turd in any way.

Now, please post multiple comments about how a life is worth more than any amount of money, drunk drivers deserve the death penalty, etc…


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