MADD, Parents of Fallen Deputy Call for Change in Drunk Driving Law

Support bill to require ignition interlocks for first offenders...

Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) will urge the Legislature to pass SB 2006 and HB 872 to stop the completely preventable drunk driving tragedies in Massachusetts.

On June 7, MADD will join the family of Deputy John Robert Kotfila, Jr. and other drunk driving victims to urge passage of this legislation, which would require ignition interlocks for first offenders.

Massachusetts is the only state in New England that does not require ignition interlocks for all offenders and one of only two states in the U.S. that does not allow for the use of ignition interlocks for ANY first-time offenders. With 31 percent of all traffic deaths in Massachusetts caused by drunk driving, this lifesaving law is urgently needed.

The presentation will occur Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in Nurse's Hall at the Massachusetts State house.  Those presenting will include:  

  • John and Terry Kotfila, parents of Deputy John Robert Kotfila
  • Sarah Carmichael, an injured survivor of a drunk driving crash
  • Rep. Kafka, sponsor of HB 872 
  • Art Kinsman, NHTSA Region 1 Administrator

Ignition interlocks save lives. MADD believes these small, in-car breathalyzers should be required for all offenders with an illegal .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and above. The devices are far safer than license suspension alone, which is often ignored. Twenty-eight states have all-offender ignition interlock laws, including New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine.

According to a recent MADD report, ignition interlocks have prevented drunk drivers from starting their vehicles over 30,000 times since Massachusetts began requiring the devices for repeat offenders in 2006.


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