Ignition Interlock Legislation Filed for 6th Time in State Legislature

Feb 3, 2015

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News


For the sixth time, supporters of a bill calling for ignition interlock devices to be installed in the vehicles of DUI offenders will work for approval in the Kentucky General Assembly. 

Advocates say education and awareness of the device's benefits could rule the day this session.

The legislation calls for the use of an ignition interlock device for all drunken driving convictions.  If a person blows into the in-dash mechanism and registers above a designated blood alcohol level, the car will not start.  Colleen Shee-hey Church is the National Mothers Against Drunk Driving President.  "The best thing we have in technology right now is the ignition interlock that allows people to drive sober and continue with their daily lives," said Shee-hey Church.

For the first time, the Kentucky Distillers Association is formally endorsing the legislation.  Rob Frederick is spokesman for the Louisville based Brown Forman Company.  "It's really a way to address drunk driving which is obviously a concern of ours.  We don't anyone to be driving drunk and it's also a way to prevent repeat offenders of drunk driving," said Frederick.

Nellie Zerbe was in Frankfort yesterday with her 10year old grandson James. Zerbe says his mother was killed in a drunken driving crash when he was less than a year old.  "There's no help for children that are left with brain damage, his traumatic brain injury, and there's no help out there for children, so got to step up to the plate and see what we can do to get help for them," said Zerbe.

Louisville Representative Jeff Donahue says there are more members willing to get on board with the bill and he says it has a good chance of passing.  In the Senate, President Robert Stivers says it's too early to predict action either way on the bill.​