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DUI reform bill under review

MADD and House Committee advance new bill.
Captain Antonio Gonzalez of the Houston County Sheriff's Office says while enforcing ignition interlocks and revoking licenses may not fully eliminate drunk driving, both are beneficial to combating the issue.
Captain Antonio Gonzalez of the Houston County Sheriff's Office says while enforcing ignition interlocks and revoking licenses may not fully eliminate drunk driving, both are beneficial to combating the issue.
Dothan resident Jeremie Wright supports ignition interlocks, saying there's no guarantee revoking licenses will stop people from driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Dothan resident Jeremie Wright supports ignition interlocks, saying there's no guarantee revoking licenses will stop people from driving while under the influence of alcohol.

A House committee is backing Mothers Against Drunk Driving's efforts to enforce a drunk driving law.

 

The committee advanced a bill this week, which would implement using an ignition interlock system,

 

These devices connect to dashboards in cars of convicted drunk drivers.  The driver breathes into the device and must meet blood alcohol limits before the car will start.

 

“It's a good idea, because you take away people’s licenses and they’ll still drive anyway.  It’ll cut back on accidents and a lot of tickets,” said Dothan resident Jeremie Wright.

 

Just three years ago, the State of Alabama passed a law requiring ignition interlocks. 

But the law has not been implemented.  MADD in Alabama is working to change that.

 

“As a direct result of this bill, lives will be saved and that's ultimately what we want here in Alabama, because far too many people are affected by this 100 percent preventable crime,” Pamela Morton Alabama MADD State Victim Services Coordinator said.

 

Anything that we implement to reduce the loss of life due to accidents on the road due to DUI, whatever it may be, any distraction while operating that motor vehicle is a plus,” said Captain Antonio Gonzalez of the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.

 

The current law requires ignition interlocks for all repeat and first-time convicted drunk drivers with a blood alcohol content of .15 or greater.

 

But not everyone agrees with the law.  Other Dothan residents say more laws don’t necessary make things better and that the ignition interlock law could hinder a driver under extenuating circumstances.  

 

Alabama's MADD office says the bill is on the calendar for a House vote.  If passed by the House, it must then meet Senate approval to take effect.

 

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