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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Two States to Introduce Key Interlock Legislation

West Virginia and Washington Await Governors' Signatures

March 2008 became an historic month for MADD and the United States of America, because two states have sent first-offender interlock bills to their governors to be signed into law.

Poised to become the fifth state in the nation with a mandatory first-offender ignition interlock law is Washington State. Following closely behind is West Virginia's new bill, a mandatory interlock law for aggravated drunk driving, identified by a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or more.

Studies prove that when installed on vehicles, alcohol ignition interlocks are up to 90 percent effective in reducing repeat offenses. Each year, these interlocks have the potential to save more than 4,000 lives already perished in repeat drunk driving crashes.

To become law, Washington and West Virginia only need their governors' signatures in order for the legislation. Soon, they'll join New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana and Illinois on the list of states that are responding to the critical need for ignition interlocks in vehicles.

On March 8, 2008, West Virginia legislators unanimously passed landmark ignition interlock legislation. The bill's stipulations include mandatory interlocks, 45-day revoked licenses, two days to six months in jail, and fines for any drivers convicted with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or higher. Included in the bill are bill are incentives to choose ignition interlocks for first time convicted drunk drivers with a BAC of .08 to .14.

Washington state's bill, which requires all convicted offenders to have ignition interlocks installed on their cars, has been unanimously passed in both chambers of the legislature. Governor Chris Gregoire's signature is all that is needed for the bill to pass into law.

Learn how you can make our roads safer, and learn where your state stands on ignition interlocks.

Schools, parents and communities can learn more about driver education and safety at America's Driver License Headquarters Try a Free DMV Practice Test online!

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