An Ohio State bill, inspired by the death of a Chillicothe attorney killed by a drunk driver in 2013, was reintroduced to the state House of Representatives. The bill would strengthen the law regarding ignition interlock devices and encourage first time DUI offenders to use the device. Ignition interlock devices are mechanisms that require the driver to pass a breathalyzer before starting the vehicle.
The History of the Legislation
Chillicothe attorney, Anne Rooney, was hit in 2013 by a drunk driver. The driver, who had a previous impaired driving conviction, received eight years in prison for killing Rooney. Now Rooney’s family is fighting to bring about tougher DUI sentencing laws to Ohio.
The earlier bill that was struck down by judges, would have mandated ignition interlock devices for first time defenders. Judges wanted more flexibility in sentencing, and felt the mandate limited that ability. After failing to pass the first time, co-sponsors Rep. Gary Scherer, R-Circleville, and Rep. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, adjusted the bill to only encourage these devices used by first time offenders and strengthen compliance within the existing law.
The new legislation focuses on improving the monitoring of the use of ignition interlock devices among third time DUI offenders who are mandated to use them. The bill also provides incentives for first time offenders to install the devices into their vehicles.
Current Penalties for Drunk Drivers in Ohio
Ohio DUI laws impose strict penalties on drunk and intoxicated drivers. Not only will offenders’ finances be severely affected, but they could lose their job and future employment prospects, not to mention being swamped in attorney’s fees. Here is a list of some of the ways that a DUI conviction can irrevocably affect your life.
- Driver’s licence revocation – In Ohio, even a first time offender can lose his or her license for up to three years. This can greatly hinder your ability to get to work or pursue an education, especially if you live somewhere where public transportation is not widely available.
- Background checks – After a first conviction, all employers that run background checks will know about your DUI. While it is still possible to get the job, it certainly will not make a good first impression.
- Auto insurance rates – Following a conviction, your insurance rates will skyrocket. It may take years to prove to insurance companies that you are once again a safe driver.
- Financial loss – If you add up fines, attorney’s fees, high insurance premiums and alcohol treatment costs, a DUI could end up costing around $10,000.
Contact a Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a family member was the victim of a drunk driving accident in the Cincinnati area, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers . We have extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of fighting a personal injury suit or negotiating with insurance companies to help you get the remediations that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.