A congresswoman from New York is planning to introduce a bill requiring all states to pass ignition interlock device laws.
In an effort to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents across the country, New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey is planning to take steps to increase the penalties for drunk drivers nationwide.
When the House of Representatives returns to session, the congresswoman intends to introduce a new bill, targeting drunk drivers in the United States. The proposed legislation would require all 50 states to toughen their drunk driving laws.
Specifically, the law would require states to pass legislation requiring the use of ignition interlock devices by individuals convicted of drunk driving. An ignition interlock device is a system installed in a motorist's vehicle, which prevents him or her from starting the car until a breathalyzer test is passed. The bill - referred to as "Alisa's Law" - would decrease the amount of federal transportation funds that states receive if they fail to update their laws by October 1, 2014.
The law is named after the daughter of the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who died in a drunk driving collision in 1992, when she was just 15 years old.
In New York, motorists convicted of drunk driving are already required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. Leandra's Law - the ignition interlock bill - was passed in 2010. The ignition interlock device is thought to be particularly effective, as it prevents drunk drivers from reoffending while the device is installed. Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates that most people convicted of drunk driving have driven while impaired an average of 87 times before they are first convicted.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 344 people died in auto accidents caused by drunk drivers in New York in 2012. In all, drunk drivers caused 29 percent of all traffic deaths in the state that year. While that was an almost 5 percent increase from the number of drunk driving fatalities the year before, New York is still below the national average.
Across the United States, drunk drivers are responsible for about 31 percent of all traffic fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, almost 10,230 people were killed by drunk drivers in the United States in 2010.
When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel and causes a collision, he or she should be held accountable for the injuries suffered in the crash. If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving accident in New York, take the time to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney, who will work with you to protect your interests.
Keywords: drunk driving, New York