By Frank Lewis
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will hold a press conference on Thursday to ask for support of HB 469, lifesaving ignition interlock legislation known as Annie’s Law, sponsored by Terry Johnson (R-McDermott). Annie’s Law, will require all repeat and first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher to use an ignition interlock on their vehicle for at least six months.
Scheduled to speak at the press conference to be held at 4 p.m. in the Harding Senate Press Room of the Ohio State House, are Christopher Hart, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, William “Bill” Windsor of Nationwide Insurance, Representative Gary Scherer (R-Circleville), joint sponsor of HB 469, Annie’s father, Dr. Richard Rooney and Johnson.
In addition MADD Ohio volunteers and staff, victims/victim families, government officials, local and state law enforcement officials; and others supporting ignition interlock legislation will be on hand.
MADD officials said drunk driving deaths are 100 percent preventable. Yet in 2012, 385 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Ohio, representing 34 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state. In addition to the emotional burden for victims, a spokesperson said, drunk driving deaths are an unnecessary economic hardship for Ohio, costing the state and taxpayers over $1.8 billion. Officials said the hope is that HB 469 will Reverse that trend begins by requiring interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.