Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Lonely Road for Massachusetts - Last State on Interlock Devices for First-Time OUI Offenders
I issued the following statement today regarding my attempts to reduce drunk driving and permit the use of interlock devices for first-time offenders. Massachusetts now stands alone as the only state that does not have a law for these offenders.
“Now is the time to authorize the use of interlock devices for first-time OUI offenders. We have already waited too long to authorize this important tool which can prevent tragedy on our state’s roadways. While we can no longer avoid being the last state in the nation to adopt this smart approach to public safety, we still have an obligation to take action now so that we can stem the pain and harm from the senseless loss of life at the hands of a drunk driver that could have been prevented with time-tested and road tested technology.
Federal government data shows that interlocks reduce repeat drunk driving offenses by 67 percent. I urge the Joint Committee on Transportation to move in the right direction with legislation that is before them.”
• Massachusetts is the only state in the country that does not allow the use of interlocks for first offenders.
• Massachusetts requires interlocks for all repeat offenders.
• According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 2016 and 2018 studies found that states with first-time offender ignition interlock laws saw drunk driving deaths decrease by 15 and 16 percent.
• Over the past dozen years, interlocks have prevented over 39,000 attempts to drive drunk in Massachusetts.