- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky transportation officials say the state is getting close to finalizing details of a new law that will require some drunken drivers to get ignition interlock devices on their vehicles.

Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe told The Paducah Sun (https://bit.ly/1XgdfKD) that the agency is “very close” to finalizing regulations so that the law can go into effect.

The General Assembly voted in March to pass the law, which requires ignition interlock licenses as part of the sentencing for repeat offenders or for first offenders who have an aggravating circumstance such as having a child in the car.

Court officials say they think the devices will help curtail the number of repeat drunken driving arrests.

“I think it’s good to monitor people who have had a multitude of DUIs,” said McCracken Assistant County Attorney Todd Jones.

He said jduges will have discretion over who gets the device and how it is used, but he plans to object to any cases where defendants ask for driving privileges when their license is supposed to be suspended.

“I am not going to reward people for consistently getting DUIs or refusing to submit to a test that they are statutorily required to take,” Jones said.

Kentucky joins 24 others states that have passed laws to use ignition interlock devices.

Brad Fralick, director of government relations for Intoxalock, an Iowa-based manufacturer of ignition interlock devices, said states that have implemented the system have seen repeat DUIs drop by an average of 65 percent. He said the number of fatal crashes is also down by between 15 and 44 percent.

“It is a huge decrease,” Fralick said. “Traffic safety officials say the only thing that has saved more lives are seat belt laws. It’s the biggest tool they have to stop drunk driving.”

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Information from: The Paducah Sun, https://www.paducahsun.com


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