General Assembly Approves Ignition Interlock Overhaul

Mar 15, 2019

Credit wkyufm.org

A bill the sponsor calls a “dramatic overhauling of the ignition interlock device program” has won final approval in the Kentucky legislature. 

The interlock acts as a breathalyzer and will prevent a vehicle from starting if the alcohol concentration is too high.  Hopkinsville Senator Whitney Westerfield expects usage to go up significantly. “We hope and expect to see the utilization climb dramatically from a 4 percent we see in a state today to something substantially higher than that.  And it will save lives.  It will make a difference,” said Westerfield

The House amended the bill to lower the time required for first time DUI offenders to use the device from six to four months.  It also reduced the driver’s license suspension from nine to six months, if the offender opts not to use the ignition interlock.  Although voting yes, Grayson Senator Robin Webb still expressed concern that interlock devices will not be widely available in rural areas.