Ohio Pushes for Harsher DUI Penalties

For 15 years Kyle Kirts, a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, has worked as an attorney in Dayton, Ohio. Throughout his legal career, Kyle T. Kirts has worked in numerous areas of law, including traffic defense and juvenile law.

Ohio law makers and public safety advocates have joined forces in hopes of passing Annie’s Law, a piece of legislation which would force individuals who have been charged with driving under the influence to install a sobriety-testing device in their car. The push for these ignition interlock devices is currently stalled in a legislative committee, though supporters maintain hope that Annie’s Law will pass if individuals such as Christopher Hart, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, continue to champion the cause.

Should Annie’s Law pass, Ohio would join 24 states that have already implemented interlock ignition legislation for convicted drunk drivers. When using an interlock ignition device, drivers must register a blood alcohol level of .025 or less before the engine will respond. Should the driver fail the test three times, the car engine will lock for a period of time. In states that have passed the law, first-time offenders often have to use the device for at least six months. At present, Ohio utilizes such measures only for repeat offenders.

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