FRANKFORT — Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed legislation today that makes Kentucky the 33rd state to require ignition interlocks after the first drunk driving offense in order to receive driving privileges.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) thanks Governor Bevin for recognizing the importance of SB 85, which was authored and championed by Senator Whitney Westerfield and led on the House floor by Rep. Richard Heath with support from Rep. Dennis Keene, who previously authored versions of this legislation. Heath and Keene have both been personally affected by drunk driving crashes.
“This is a proud moment for all of us who want to finally put an end to the violent, 100 percent preventable crime of drunk driving,” said MADD National President Helen Witty. “We are so grateful for all of the work our elected officials, volunteers, staff and traffic safety partners put into making Kentucky the 33rd state with this lifesaving law.”
The bipartisan bill received support from a diverse partnership of groups including the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, prosecutors and others who have been working together on this lifesaving legislation.
Studies show states that have ignition interlock laws similar to SB 85 can reduce drunk driving deaths by 16 percent.
Kentucky passed SB 133 in 2015 to create an ignition interlock program that applies to first-time offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater and all repeat DUI offenders. The new law, which takes effect July 1, 2020, expands Kentucky’s law to apply to all drunk driving offenders with an illegal .08 BAC and above.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save nearly 380,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.
Contact: Becky Iannotta, 202.600.2032 or [email protected]