Patricia Voelker lost her grandson to a drunk driver. An accident that changed her family forever. “My daughters entire family disappeared all because a young man had partied all day and was drunk,” said Voelker.
Voelker is one of many families who have experienced the same heartbreak. So lawmakers want to make sure more families don’t feel that pain and are considering expanding the ignition interlock program.
The ignition interlock device requires a driver to take a breathalyzer test before they can start their car.
“These aren’t just numbers we’re looking to reduce these are real people going through the hardest time of their lives because of a decision very often they’ve never met before made and imposed on their lives,” explained Steve Burritt, the SC Executive Director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
A bill currently being reviewed by a Senate committee would make all drivers convicted of a DUI get the ignition interlock device before getting their license back.
Burritt added, “This would put us in line with 30 other states that say any DUI conviction would get this device…and it’s been proven that states with this law have the greatest reduction in dui fatalities.
Many people are on board with any intiiative that would prevent drunk drivers and keep people safe on the road, but with this bill some people hope lawmakers also take a closer look at the blood alcohol level in this proposal.
“People don’t realize you don’t have to be falling down drunk to make poor decisions.. the first drink you take it changes your thought process, your timing, and your reflexes,” said Patricia Voelker.
There are more than 1,500 people currently using the ignition interlock system in the state. The device also comes with a camera that snaps the driver’s picture when they take the breathalyzer test.