Interlock device supporters rally for new legislation in Frankfort
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They say their loved ones have been killed or severely injured by drunk drivers who were given a slap on the wrist. Supporters of a new Kentucky law aimed at getting tough on drunk driving converged on Frankfort Tuesday.
Supporters call the legislation life saving and officials say it won't cost the commonwealth.
Victims of drunk driving spoke emotionally at the Capitol Tuesday, many of them have worked for years to get tougher drunk driving laws passed in Kentucky.
Lexington native Alex Otte was 13 when she was nearly killed by a drunk driver. "Less than adequate" is how she would describe Kentucky's drunk driving laws.
"The man who hit me was charged $250 and he's off living his life," Otte explained. "There was a drunk man in a boat going 60 mph and he mowed over me."
Otte suffered a severe brain injury, broke her jaw, neck, collar bone and lost her leg.
She says if she can keep other people from having to experience what she did, then she's made a difference.
Representative Dennis Keene (D-District 67) is pushing for a bill that would force convicted drunk drivers to have what's called an ignition interlock system in their car.
"It's proven to save lives," Keene said, explaining the offender has to pass a breathalyzer test in order to be able to drive their vehicle.
He says in order to pass the bill, he needs support from house and senate.
"I'm proud to say our Kentucky attorney general is a supporter of House Bill 60," Keene said.
Elected officials say the law wouldn't cost taxpayers -- because the offender would pay for it.
The interlock system costs offenders $4 a day.
Representatives with Mothers Against Drunk Driving say passing the interlock law is their highest priority.
"They protect the public and they allow offenders to continue with their daily lives," MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church.
If you support or oppose the new legislation, you're encouraged to contact your legislator.
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