Ignition Interlock Bill HB1843/SB2065 Signed into Law by Governor Bill Haslam

SB 2065 passes in Senate April 19, 2016

MADD applauds Tennessee legislators for passing HB 1843 in the House on April 13, 2016, and SB 2065 in the Senate on April 19, 2016!  The bill was signed into law April 27, 2016, by Governor Bill Haslam and will take effect July 1, 2016.

Although Tennessee has had an all-offender Ignition Interlock law in place since 2013, convicted DUI offenders were only required to install the device if they applied for a restricted driving license.  However, many simply chose to accept a license revocation and then re-apply for their license after a year.  The problem:  50-75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license which is one reason why 1/3 of first offenders repeat the offense. (See MADD Ignition Interlocks.)  HB 1843 /SB 2065 requires a judge to order an ignition interlock device for all convicted DUI offenders — unless the judge provides a finding of fact to not order the device.   This means the offender must have an ignition interlock device installed on his/her vehicle for 365 days before he/she can apply for a new license. In addition, the bill provides for a compliance-based removal program, which means an offender must be violation-free for 120 consecutive days before the device can be removed and a new license issued.  It also establishes penalties for unauthorized tampering or removal of an ignition interlock device.  And it’s not just about stopping offenders from driving drunk while the device is installed, research has shown that Ignition Interlocks are a highly effective means of reducing drunk driving because they change drunk driving behavior – even after removal.

MADD joined bill sponsors and supporters at the Capitol on April 12, 2016, to hold a press conference about the bill and encourage legislators to vote for it.  (See photos below.)  MADD encourages constituents to contact their local Representatives and Senators to thank them for voting in favor of this important legislation!

MADD wishes to extend a special thanks to the sponsors of these bills for their tireless efforts to save lives in Tennessee by improving DUI legislation!

HB 1843 sponsored by:  Rep. William Lamberth (R)
Co-sponsored by:  Rep. G.A. Hardaway, Sr. (D), Rep. James “Micah” Van Huss (R), Rep. Tilman Goins (R), Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R), Rep. Glen Casada (R),  Rep. Kevin Brooks (R), Rep. Dan Howell (R), Rep. Matthew Hill (R),  Rep. David Alexander (R), Rep. Steve McManus (R),  Rep. Dawn White (R), Rep. Timothy Hill (R), Rep. Dale Carr (R), Rep. Sheila Butt (R), Rep. Dennis Powers (R), Rep. Andrew Farmer (R), Rep. Jason Zachary (R), Rep. Jason Powell (D), Rep. Bill Beck (D), Rep. Bob Ramsey (R), Rep. Ron Travis (R), Rep. John Ragan (R), Rep. Bud Hulsey (R), Rep. Joe Towns, Jr. (D), Rep. Kevin Dunlap (D),  Rep.  Sabi Kumar (R), Rep. Charles Sargent (R), Rep. Eddie Smith (R), Rep. Curry Todd (R), Rep. Raumesh Akbari (D), and Rep. Karen D. Camper (D).

SB 2065 sponsored by:  Senator John Stevens (R)