Safe Driving Advocacy Groups, State Legislators, and Distillers Applaud Senate Passage of Ignition Interlock Bill, Urge House to Swiftly Act to Save Lives
Senate Bill 183, House Bill 402 Aim to Modernize North Carolina’s Critical Ignition Interlock Laws
April 22, 2021
Anti-drunk driving advocates, distilled spirits producers, sheriffs, lawyers and concerned state legislators applauded the today’s Senate passage of SB 183 and urged the House of Representatives to swiftly pass the legislation into law.
Interlock Ignition supporters, composed of representatives from Advocates for Justice, the Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, Responsibility.org, and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), united in support of the commonsense legislation, which will bring much needed modernization to the state’s ignition interlock laws.
“On behalf of the drunk driving victims MADD serves every day, we are grateful to the senators who advanced this lifesaving legislation,” said Jennifer Lichtneger, State Program Director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving of North Carolina. “We are gratified to have worked with a passionate group of safe driving advocates to help shape this legislation. We urge members to follow suit and support this important modernization to stop the tragedies caused by drunk driving.”
The bills aim to modernize North Carolina’s existing ignition interlock laws by:
. Updating rules surrounding certain driving privileges when ignition interlocks are required.
. Removing rigid time and place restrictions in these instances
. Requiring that an ignition interlock only be installed on the person’s primary vehicle, not all vehicles they own.
. Requiring vendors to waive a portion of ignition interlock installation fees and commissioning a study to determine whether to expand the usage of ignition interlock systems.
Advocates had argued the legislation would reduce crashes, injuries, deaths, and repeat DWI offenses while making it easier for DWI offenders to stay employed and seek treatment.
“Passage of SB 183 and HB 402 will demonstrate a strong commitment to preventing impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel-ultimately keeping our roads safer,” said Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and Responsibility.org President and CEO Chris Swonger. “We urge the North Carolina House of Representatives to swiftly adopt these commonsense measures and send this important legislation to Governor Cooper’s desk for his signature.”
For several months, a coalition of organizations held meetings facilitated by the UNC School of Government to review and develop a consensus regarding recommended changes for North Carolina’s existing interlock laws, which have fallen behind set precedents in other states. The group, the Ignition Interlock Subcommittee, comprised of a number of safe driving advocates, including: the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, N.C. Conference of District Attorneys, the Office of the N.C. Attorney General, N.C. Advocates for Justice, N.C. Division of Public Health, N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles, N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers, Responsibility.org and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).
“Research shows that ignition interlocks prevent impaired driving and save lives. On behalf of the countless victims and families whose lives have been impacted by impaired drivers, we are eager to see these bills adopted into law,” said Debra Coffey, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers (CIIM).