MADD is one step closer to expanding Florida's ignition interlock law

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By: Symone Davis
March 21, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- First time DUI offenders may soon face harsher restrictions.

Tuesday morning, House Bill 949 received a unanimous vote from a House committee.

The bill would require first time DUI offenders to blow into a breathalyzer in order to start their car. The device is known as an ignition interlock.

Amy Jamieson, whose 16-year-old son was killed by a drunk driver, says she couldn't be happier about this victory.

"Somebody’s choice that has altered the rest of my family’s life forever and I want to try to make as much of a difference as possible. I'm just really happy right now that they see the advantage of the interlock system,” said Jamieson.

The bill will be going in front of another committee in the upcoming weeks.

By: Associated Press
March 21, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A bill that would require an ignition interlock device on someone's vehicle after their first drunken driving conviction has passed its first committee in the Florida House of Representatives.

The bill (HB 949) passed the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Tuesday. It must go through two more committees before reaching the House floor.

The interlock device prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. The current law makes it mandatory for six months for a first offense if the person's blood alcohol content is higher than 0.15 percent or a minor is in the vehicle. The devices are also mandatory for multiple DUIs.

There are approximately 9,000 interlock devices active in Florida at any given time.

Florida would join 28 other states and the District of Columbia with similar laws.

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