Lawmakers Push For Tougher Drunk Driving Laws

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Ohio legislators are renewing their call to crackdown on drunk driving with a bill that goes beyond just taking away licenses. The latest proposal makes offenders install a breathalyzer-type tool in their car.

The “ignition interlock” is a devise that ensures the car won’t start if a high blood alcohol level is detected.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Representative Terry Johnson of McDermott, joined Mothers Against Drunk Driving, transportation and insurance officials to discuss the importance of his plan. He said, under his proposal, even first time offenders would have to use the ignition interlock for at least six months.

Bill Windsor with Nationwide Insurance said tough laws are needed to stem the culture of drunk drivers who consistently get behind the wheel.

“Ohio has a huge problem with repeat drunk drivers," Windsor said. "We have more than 260,000 Ohioans that have racked up three or more driving suspensions. It’s no wonder that we continue to have so many alcohol-related fatalities and injuries here in Ohio.”

Johnson’s bill received four hearings in the House but is now stalled in committee for summer recess.

He hopes the Legislature will revisit the issue after the November elections.