WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOUT) – For repeat DUI offenders in Pennsylvania, this device may be very familiar. It’s called an ignition interlock and it aims to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and getting into an accident.
A simple blow into it will let you know it’s not safe to get on the road. Now, state leaders want this device to be available to drivers who are first time offenders if their blood alcohol level is point 1 or greater.
Senator John Rafferty sponsored the senate bill which now awaits Governor Tom Wolf’s signature.
“It will keep our roadways safe because we found some people who lose their license still continue to drive,” said Rafferty.
Senator rafferty says the device will not only keep drivers and pedestrians safe, it may help some people recognize if they have a problem.
According to PennDOT, there were 333 drunk driving fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2014. Joe Kaschak with Kaschak’s Foreign Auto has installed hundreds of these devices for repeat offenders. He says its a deterrent.
“For most people, it’s an embarrassment to have one of these in your car,” said Kaschak.
The bill passed the senate unanimously. But Representative Cris Dush says he opposes the bill because he doesn’t believe someone should have to face the monetary costs that come with the device if they made a mistake they aren’t likely to do again. He believes a judge should make that call. But Rafferty says this new law is a positive step forward in keeping the roads safe.