Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) recently sent a letter to Senate Ways & Means to advocate for S.2806, an Act relative to strengthening public safety through ignition interlock devices. The legislation aims to protect citizens of the Commonwealth by stopping convicted drunk drivers from becoming repeat offenders.
Ignition interlock devices, themselves, are devices that are installed in vehicles, that require the operator to blow into them before starting the automobile. Should the operator’s breath produce any measurable amount of alcohol in their system, the vehicle will not start.
S.2806 will impose these devices by allowing judges to require drunk drivers to install them in any vehicle they own, lease, or otherwise operate, as part of their hardship waivers for first time offenders.
“Drunk drivers have continued to pose a risk to individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth despite our efforts to put a stop to the issue,” said Senator Moore, Chair of the Joint Committee of Public Safety and Homeland Security. “By allowing the use of ignition interlock devices we can hopefully drastically limit the number of repeat offenders and protect the wellbeing of resident in our states.
“MADD urges the Legislature to act now and advance this lifesaving legislation,” said MADD Massachusetts Program Director Mary Kate DePamphilis. “Massachusetts is the only state in the Country that does not allow for the use of ignition interlocks for first-time offenders. We urge the Senate to follow the lead of the House and enact this lifesaving proposal as ignition interlocks save lives, stop drunk driving and teach sober driving.”
Currently 34 states require ignition locks for all offenders, which resulted in a steep decline in drunk driving deaths in many cases. The goal of this legislation is to provide a similar outcome in Massachusetts.