Legislators, Advocacy Groups Hail New Ignition Interlock Law as Important Tool in Saving Lives, Fighting Drunk Driving

News Conference

Senator Bartolotta

At a capitol news conference today, legislators, families of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) victims, and advocacy groups showed their support for Pennsylvania’s new ignition interlock law, saying it will save lives and prevent repeat drunk driving attempts.

State Senator John Rafferty (R-44) and State Representative Keith Greiner (R-43), who sponsored the legislation in the Senate and House, respectively, offered their thanks to those who spent the last six years working for passage of Act 33 of 2016, and said the next step is to increase public education about the legislation.

The new law will require convicted drunk drivers with illegal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .10 or greater to use ignition interlocks for at least 12 months for first-time offenders, effective in 15 months.

“Statistics in states that have similar laws clearly show the implementation of ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders significantly reduce drunk-driving fatalities,” Rafferty said.  “The families of DUI victims who have worked so hard to get this bill through the Legislature should be proud that they have done something that will save lives and prevent needless tragedies.”

“Ignition interlocks will unquestionably save lives across the Commonwealth and make our roadways safer. Senator Rafferty, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and other community leaders, including Chris and Susan Demko, were integral to moving this issue forward.  It was truly a team effort.  I remain committed to fighting for additional legislative efforts to curb drunk driving and am thankful to have aided in shepherding this legislation through the House,” said Greiner.

According to statistics compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, nearly 2 million drunk-driving attempts have been stopped with ignition interlock devices, including more than 78,000 instances in Pennsylvania between 2003 and 2015.

The installation of ignition interlock devices has been shown to reduce the number of DUI incidents by 30 percent.

CONTACT: Nolan Ritchie, Senate Transportation Committee, 717-787-1398

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