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Will Congress take a stand against drunk driving?

A large number of car accidents that take place in Kansas City are the result of negligent drivers. However, many others are the result of more than negligence when individuals decide to drive even though they are impaired by alcohol.

Because drunk drivers show contempt to citizens, victims of drunk driving accidents are often able to recover far more than just ordinary personal injury damages.

However, anyone who has been injured or has lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident will tell you that no amount of money is worth the pain they endured. That’s why preventing drunk driving accidents from occurring in the first place is such an important initiative.

This week, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives that would order all states to require convicted drunk drivers to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles for at least six month in order to continue driving.

Ignition interlock devices -- which are supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving as the best way to prevent drunk drivers from reoffending -- require drivers to pass a breath test before their ignitions will start. If alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath, the ignition will remain disabled.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that currently all 50 states have already passed some sort of ignition interlock law.

Missouri law requires ignition interlock devices to be installed on vehicle for at least six months after a license is reinstated following a DUI suspension or revocation. In Kansas, the ignition interlock requirements are stricter and require ignition interlock installation for all drunk driving offenses, including first time DUIs.

According to MADD, the proposed ignition interlock bill is “the next step in saving lives due to drunk driving.” It will be interesting to see if Congress agrees.

Source: Forbes, “New Ignition Interlock Legislation Aims to Save Thousands From Drunk Driving Deaths,” Tanya Mohn, July 7, 2014

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