Senator Lesser Votes to Limit Drunk Driving in Massachusetts

BOSTON- This Saturday, July 23rd, Senator Eric P. Lesser voted to make roads safer from drunk drivers. The Senate passed S.2445, An Act Strengthening Public Safety by Reducing Unlicensed, Uninsured Driving by DUI Offenders, sponsored by Senator Timilty. The bill requires those convicted of driving under the influence to have an ignition interlock device installed in their car, which would disable the car from starting unless the driver can pass a breathalyzer test. The bill removes the currently available option for a hardship license, which allows those who need vehicles to get to work to resume driving soon after their DUI.

“This is a common sense measure for public safety. It will prevent past offenders from getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated,” said Senator Lesser. “We owe it to our communities to do everything possible to stop drunk driving, and this initiative will go a long way.”

Instead of the current hardship license system, the Senate’s legislation requires any individual who wishes to operate their vehicle after a DUI conviction to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. This device is a portable breathalyzer that the driver has to blow in and register below the legal blood alcohol content level before the car is able to be started.

Further, the individual who is applying for the ignition interlock device is required to pay for the installation and maintenance of the device unless they can prove a grave and serious financial hardship on them or their family. This legislation was supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.