Ohio bill goes after drunk drivers - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Ohio bill goes after drunk drivers

(FOX19) -

An Ohio bill is looking to crack down on drunk drivers.

New legislation would require first-time DUI offenders to use a device on their vehicles that would measure blood alcohol level before the car is allowed to start. 
"He's my angel in the sky now," said Kim Johnson.
Kim Johnson lost her 16 year old son Damion, when he was ejected from the backseat of the car driven by Larry Molloy, a man accused of driving intoxicated and well over the speed limit earlier this year.
"There are so many people that drink and drive and so they might get a DUI here and there but it doesn't stop them from repeating and doing the same things over and over," said Johnson.
According to Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Molloy had two prior OVI convictions. Current law requires those convicted of DUI twice in six years to have an ignition interlock, but House Bill 469 would make it mandatory for first-time offenders too.

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"Anything to get them from being able to get that car started and in motion," said Johnson.
The legal limit of alcohol allowed in a person's system is .08. With this technology, the car won't start if a driver's BAC is more than .025.
"A lot of lives could be saved that way, a lot," said Johnson.
But not everyone is on board with this bill.
"The new bill is totally unnecessary because judges right now have the discretion even in first offender cases to impose the requirement of an ignition interlock device in the car," said Chuck Strain.
Chuck Strain is a DUI lawyer and says this technology costs $80 a month and could be pricey for the offender and his family. Plus that person could easily hop into someone else's car and drive while intoxicated. 
But he does agree it has some benefits.
"I think an ignition interlock device can often be very helpful to the offender himself if he's trying to stop drinking and if alcohol is the problem. It can also be effective for the court to monitor whether or not he's drinking," said Strain.

Regardless if this bill passes or not, Johnson hopes more drivers take the severity of these crimes to heart.

If this legislation passes, Ohio would become the 23rd state to require these devices for first time DUI offenders.

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