Kenneth P. LaValle

September 16, 2009

Legislation Mandates Interlock Ignition Devices for DWI Offenders Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that legislation he cosponsored to create a mandatory ignition interlock program for all persons convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) has passed the Senate. The measure would improve the current law by mandating a program that allows counties throughout the state to operate an ignition interlock program. “It seems the media is reporting horror stories about someone being killed or injured by a drunk driver on a daily basis,” said Senator LaValle. “The reckless decision to drink and drive demonstrates total disregard for the lives of others. This measure would provide law enforcement officials with another tool to deter and monitor convicted offenders.” The legislation would mandate that those convicted of aggravated DWI install and maintain ignition interlock devices. Those attempting to bypass the system by having another individual blow into the interlock device would immediately have their license taken away for a period of one year. Senator LaValle noted that this legislation strengthens DWI measures that have become law and is in addition to others he supports, including a recent measure increasing penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) when a child under sixteen years of age is in the car or is injured in an alcohol related accident. “These measures I have supported would put more teeth into our current DWI laws and address the reckless nature of this crime,” said Senator LaValle. “This irresponsible and inexcusable behavior deserves the harshest penalty prescribed by law.”