Preventing OVI Offenders From Endangering Lives On Ohio's Roadways
A Guest Column by State Senator Jay Hottinger
December 13, 2016
 
[ Jay Hottinger Home | Jay Hottinger Press ]
 
 

Drunk driving remains a major hazard on Ohio’s roadways. Motorists who chose to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol claimed the lives of more than 350 Ohioans last year. The decision to drink and drive is senseless and inexcusable.

To combat this problem, a growing number of states have enacted laws requiring or incentivizing first-time OVI offenders to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. Similar to a breathalyzer, these devices that can utilize DNA and facial recognition software will prevent a driver from starting a vehicle if any amount of alcohol is detected. Ignition interlock technology and legislation allowing their use has gained the support of numerous organizations, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).  

Ohio’s ignition interlock legislation was named "Annie’s Law" in memory of Annie Rooney, who lost her life in an accident caused by a repeat drunk driver. As chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, I heard heart wrenching testimony from the father of Annie Rooney as well as testimony showing a sharp decrease in the number of drunk driving deaths in states where ignition interlocks requirements have been implemented. 

After listening to so many tragic stories from Ohioans who had lost loved ones, it was evident that Ohio must do more to prevent drunk driving related deaths. Simply put, this legislation will save lives. 

Annie's Law passed out of Senate Insurance Committee unanimously after I called it for a vote, and both the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House passed Annie’s Law with overwhelming majorities. 

Using technology to make Ohio’s roadways safer is important and ignition interlocks are one tool that can help protect Ohio families from intoxicated motorist, so I am proud to have worked on this legislation. However, the successful passage of Annie’s Law would not have happened without the tireless efforts of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the bill’s sponsor Representative Gary Scherer, Senator Bob Peterson, Nationwide Insurance, and the entire Rooney family. The courage that the Rooney family displayed after such a tragic event was astounding and it is because of their remarkable efforts that Ohio roads will now be safer for all Ohioans.

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Hottinger Announces Passage Of Legislation Honoring Fallen Kirkersville Police Chief

 

“The tragic deaths of Chief DiSario, Marlina Medrano and Cindy Krantz are still felt in Kirkersville and throughout Licking County," said Senator Hottinger. "I am thankful that today the Ohio Senate took a giant step towards permanently memorializing the sacrifice of Chief DiSario.”



 
 

Ohio Lawmakers Reach Consensus On Bill To Keep Newark Digital Academy Open

 

“The work of the Conference Committee on this bill, proves that the Ohio Senate and House are committed to finding a solution that keeps Newark Digital Academy open," said Hottinger.



 
 

Hottinger Honored For Support Of Ohio Children Services Agencies

 

COLUMBUS—State Senator Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) was named Legislator of the Year today in recognition of his continued support for the children served by Ohio's children services agencies during a special presentation at the Public Children Services Association of Ohio's annual conference. 



 
 

Hottinger Announces Funds For Local Law Enforcement, Connecting Overdose Survivors With Recovery Services

 

"Addiction destroys lives and wrecks families, which is why this investment to tackle the problem here in Tuscarawas County is so vitally important," said Hottinger. "For some, intervention by law enforcement and drug treatment professionals will mean the difference between death and recovery."