Kentucky Lawmaker Seeks to Toughen DUI Laws

Kentucky representative, Dennis Keene has filed legislation for the fourth consecutive year in an attempt to toughen DUI laws in his home state of Kentucky. House bill 286 would require all people convicted of drunk driving to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles that would test a driver’s breath before allowing the engine to start.

Despite his bill being “killed” each of the last 3 years in the Senate, Keene is confident this is the year that it will pass because of a new federal law that took effect on October 1, 2012. The law, MAP-21, requires all states to mandate ignition interlock devices or they would risk losing federal highway dollars. It also sets up a discretionary grant program that allows the United States Department of Transportation to provide additional funds to states that adopt alcohol ignition interlock. The cost of the alcohol interlock device is about $3-4 a day and would come at no cost to the Kentucky taxpayers according to Robyn Robertson of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation of Canada.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, alcohol ignition interlock devices reduce repeat drunk driving offenses by an average of 64%.

Dennis Keene is a democrat that has served the citizens of the 67th District in Kentucky since 2005 which includes Campbell Country communities of: Dayton, Bellevue, Newport, Wilder, Southgate, Woodlawn and part of Highland Heights. His daughter Kelly Keene Jones was nearly killed in a drunken driving accident in 2002. Keene has since become an outspoken advocate for tougher DUI laws.