Rep. Hambley Announces Passage Of Legislation To Reduce Repeat OVIs
HB 388 increases the use of in-car breathalyzers for OVI offenses

State Representative Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) today announced passage of House Bill 388, which allows judges to grant the use of ignition interlock for individuals on their first OVI offense in an effort to reduce the recidivism rate for OVI offenders.

This legislation, sponsored by State Representative Gary Scherer (R-Circleville), is also known as “Annie’s Law,” named after Scherer’s constituent, Annie Rooney, 36, who lost her life to a drunk driver in 2013.

“Annie’s Law” allows a first time OVI offender to petition the court for unlimited driving privileges with a certified ignition interlock device, or IID, during the period of the offender's driver's license suspension. Current law allows OVI offenders serving a license suspension to have restricted driving privileges to commute to work and school, a penalty that is difficult to enforce and, according to MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is violated by 50 to 75 percent of offenders.

“Annie’s Law increases road safety,” commented Hambley. “I am proud to announce that Ohio is taking steps to ensure safer roads for our families and communities. Incorporating IIDs in offenders’ vehicles allows offenders to drive to work and home, but ensures that they are not driving intoxicated.”

The IID technology proposed in HB 388 requires the driver to blow into a breathalyzer device to start the vehicle, which helps make sure they are not intoxicated before driving the car. “Annie’s Law” will provide OVI offenders with unlimited driving privileges, but will more effectively prevent that individual from getting behind the wheel while drunk again.

According to MADD, states that have passed all-offender interlock laws have experienced a significant decrease in drunk driving deaths. This includes our neighbor West Virginia, which saw a 40 percent decrease.

House Bill 388 does not change the current discretion judges have in ordering interlocks, but it does set up a framework to allow judges to order interlocks more often, which MADD believes is a step in the right direction.

House Bill 388 now goes to the Ohio Senate for further deliberation.


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