Stalled Alabama Law Could Keep Repeat DUI Offenders Off The Road
LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Mothers Against Drunk Driving believes its efforts could keep repeat DUI offenders off the roads, if Alabama lawmakers will implement a law they passed two years ago.
In 2011, MADD helped garner enough support among state lawmakers to pass a bill in to law that would require ignition interlock systems to be installed in vehicles of repeat DUI offenders or first-time offenders with a blood-alcohol level of greater than .15.
Glenda Richardson, a MADD Volunteer and former state president for the organization, was there for the signing.
“We were so excited thinking it would really make a difference here in Alabama, but it hasn’t because it has not been implemented yet,” said Richardson.
In 1971, Richardson lost her two children and her husband at the hands of a drunk driver. Since then she has fought against drunk driving, and believes the ignition interlock system would save lives.
“The last year we have records on 259 people were killed and many more injured by drunk drivers. So, it really does need to be implemented here,” said Richardson.
The law requires offenders pay the monitoring fee and installation fee for the ignition interlock devices. Still, lawmakers have pointed to a lack of funding as reason for the program never getting off the ground.
MADD has continued to petition the state to implement the program, pointing to success in other states using the ignition interlock system.
“[There has been a] 67% decrease in the recidivism rate, on average, in states that have this law,” said Richardson.